Even in the face of some lofty expectations, Andy Muschietti's IT has done something spectacular with its stunning box office run and phenomenal critical reception. Coming in hot after a decidedly lackluster August, the Stephen King adaptation has made an insane amount of money and has handily become the highest-grossing R-rated horror flick of all time. It's an impressive accomplishment, and it most certainly didn't happen by accident. With that in mind, let's dive in and examine all of the reasons why IT has turned into an unprecedented horror win.

IT The Losers Club Sewer

The Film Makes Smart Changes To The Source Material

Right off the bat, fans of the source material will likely recognize that IT is not a 1:1 adaptation of Stephen King's source material. Several infamous sequences (such as the orgy scene) have been cut from the film, the subplot involving The Losers Club as adults has been saved for the sequel and the monsters that Pennywise manifests have changed from pop culture icons to more personal phobias. Adapting a well-known and popular book almost always represents a distinct challenge for a filmmaker, but Andy Muschietti made some fantastic changes to the IT story that keep it timeless and personal, while also saving some strong storylines for the inevitable IT 2. It goes to show that something doesn't have to be exactly like the book that inspired it to resonate with audiences.

IT beverly sink scene

IT Earns Its R-Rating

Over the course of the last generation of horror movies, we have seen an odd phenomenon take place. Either a movie finds itself completely neutered through editing to achieve a PG-13 rating, or it pushes the envelope and goes all in on an R. IT does neither of those things. Although it is certainly a violent, vulgar (let's be honest, you probably swore that much as a kid too) and downright nasty movie at times, Andy Muschietti's Stephen King adaptation earns its R-rating with smart use of blood and gore. Nothing depicted in the film feels without consequence, and the sheer intensity of the violence ultimately serves the plot by letting The Losers Club (and by extension, the audience) know what is at stake in this film.

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