After giving it some thought, I'm still a bit perplexed as to why Henry's dad was changed into a police officer in the movie. Most of the changes from the book to the movie felt very purposeful (even the ones that didn't totally work), but this one comes off as a bit random to me and I have mixed feelings about it. Henry's dad (incidentally, I checked IMDB and the character is listed as "Officer Bowers"; I'm not sure we ever find out for sure what his first name is in the movie, although I don't know why they would do anything but keep it as "Butch") comes off as less of a villain than in the book, and that ends up impacting how I feel about Henry as well. In the book, he is both a violently racist and hateful man and one who is clearly suffering from mental illness, most likely PTSD at least. The mental illness keeps him from being able to be classified as purely evil. I have also wondered (though I don't know if there's anything in the book to support this) if some of that got passed along to Henry and made it easier for It to control him. In the movie, I get the sense that we are supposed to assume that he's been abusive to Henry but I don't see anything explicit from the very limited scenes we are given. In fact, in both scenes he acts as kind of a disciplinary force that keeps Henry from doing anything too awful. Spoiler Early in the movie outside the school, we see Henry's dad give him a stern look when he and the bullies are messing with the Losers, and he backs off before anything happens except for a few insults. And then in the scene where Henry is about to shoot the cat, his dad walks up just in time to stop him. You can argue that what he does next - shooting at Henry's feet and making him look weak and scared in front of his friends - is cruel or abusive, but given what Henry was about to do I come out on the side of his dad on this one. Perhaps there were originally supposed to be more scenes to establish what kind of a person Officer Bowers really is, and certainly I think we're given enough to conclude that he and his son have a rocky relationship. But unlike the book, I don't think we know enough to determine who is primarily at fault. It ends up changing how I feel about Henry and taking away some of the sympathy I have for him in the book...though I'm not sure if I'm supposed to conclude that he is purely evil in some way or if there's something else I should feel instead.