Warning: spoilers ahead!
With director Andy Muschietti’s It fast-forwarding from the ‘50s to the ‘80s, the film moved from an era when Universal Monsters crawled into kids’ nightmares to one when they were stalked in their dreams by Freddy Krueger (or were those really dreams?).
In fact, the serial killer with the clawed gloves was such a touchstone of the era, he almost made a cameo in the It remake: Muschietti reveals he briefly toyed with the idea of having It's shape-shifting demonic entity — which feeds on children's fears and manifests them — morph into Freddy Krueger at one point in the film.
“Obviously we considered that for a bit, but I wasn’t too interested in bringing Freddy Krueger into the mix,” Muschietti told Ain’t It Cool News, admitting that he loves how Stephen King incorporates the Universal Monsters into the novel because Dracula and The Mummy and the rest of the ghouls really were icons of fear for legions of ‘50s kids.
(Krueger would have been a no-brainer for the remake, though: If It's malevolent entity had materialized in front of me back in 1989, the same time A Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Child haunted theaters, he probably would have turned into the dream-stalking serial killer.)
Ultimately, though, Muschietti decided not to feature Freddy Krueger in the new It movie because he felt the character would be a distraction.
“I really wasn’t too crazy about bringing stuff like Freddy Krueger into the story. I thought it was a bit too meta with New Line involved in the film,” he explained of the studio, which is behind both It and The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. “It’s distracting and it didn’t feel right, for some reason. I wanted to bring fears that were a little more layered and related to childhood trauma and more surprising in general.”
He definitely succeeded in that. Among the things It transforms itself into besides that terrifying clown are Bill’s dead little brother, the hands of fire victims who burned to death, and a twisted and fanged woman who emerges from a Edvard Munch-ian painting to traumatize Stan. Then there are those arachnid appendages (so much for that rumor the movie would not be crawling with eight-legged freaks).
Though the dream killer doesn’t make an appearance in It, keep an eye on the marquee of a theater that pops up in the movie: Dream Child is playing that fateful summer of ‘89. And that scene where the corpse of Patrick Hockstetter emerges from the mattress to terrorize the kids he used to taunt before he melts back into it again?
He obviously didn’t succeed at being a dream warrior.