Review: It

It - still from the movie

It is by far my favourite of Stephen King’s novels. Maybe it’s partly because I was fairly close to the age of the children when I first read it. (It was published in 1986; I probably bought it in ’87, so I was 14. The Losers are 11 or 12. Yeah, I was reading adult horror at 14. This was the video nasties era. Reading the nasty was no big deal when I could rent Cannibal Holocaust for a quarter of the price of a book.)

I hated the previous adaption with Tim Curry as Pennywise. I felt it completely missed the point, though I would have had trouble articulating what that point was back then. Now I can. It isn’t about friends killing the monster. It’s about how the monster can’t be killed because it’s everywhere you look. It’s everyone. It’s about how you get though a world full of monsters in the best way you can. There’s a passage in a different novel that sums It up perfectly: where a boy is looking at a perfectly ordinary set of photos and is terrified because he is certain the monster is just out of the shot in each of them.

I’m not convinced it’s possible to convey the soul of It in a movie. But I no longer expect an adaption to be perfect. I really, really wanted this movie version to be good.

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