Friday, May 20, 2016

Don't Watch This Alone!: Stephen King's IT

Welcome to the another installment of DON'T WATCH THIS ALONE!, where we review the best, worst, and everything in between in the world of horror.  This week we review a classic in the genre...Stephen King's IT.

Stephen King is one of the most prolific writers I know of. He is able to bring our greatest fears to life. In his book It, a demon under the disguise of a clown terrorizes children in a small Maine town. The 1990 miniseries It is based off the events that occurred in his 1986 book about a monster named Pennywise.  He appears as a clown, but he actually becomes whatever the children are afraid of.

An irrational fear of clowns is known as coulrophobia. As a child, I suffered from this common phobia and still as an adult. After watching Stephen King's It too many times to count, this phobia has stuck with me. Every time I watched this movie I had dreams of Pennywise chasing me and saying "We all float down here". He always has a balloon and Georgie's boat.

Stephen King has a talent for playing on his audience's fears. It wasn't just about the fear of clowns. Pennywise turned into whatever the children were afraid of. Tim Curry did a superb job of giving me nightmares as Pennywise.

The story centers around six children who are considered by society to be misfits.They work together to destroy Pennywise or so they thought. Thirty years later the children are grown up and have lives of their own. However, they must come together one last time to destroy the monster. In the end, friendship and humanity win!

The two characters that stood out to me were Bill Denbrough and Beverly Marsh. My favorite performances were Jonothan Brandis as an young Ben Denbrough and Annette O'Tootle as an adult Beverley Marsh. I enjoyed how Brandis brought a stuttering Bill to life.  A young Beverly Marsh suffered abuse from her father and her boyfriend as an adult. Annette O'Toole brought a vulnerability to her character that allowed me to see how abuse as a child does affect us as an adult.

One of the most difficult jobs in the entertainment industry is to take a book and adapt into a cinematic form. In order to do successfully, the director needs to find the most important parts of the story and bring them to life on film.  Tommy Lee Wallace did just that. He's worked in diverse genres, but he's well known for his work in the horror genre. He wrote and directed Halloween III: Season of the Witch, and also wrote the script for Amityville 2: The Possession.

I'm excited to hear that a remake of It is in production and coming out September of 2017. There is a great page on facebook that gives more details: The cast hasn't been announced yet, but there is much anticipation about who will play the new Pennywise, and has even been rumored to be Will Poulter (We're The Millers). If you go to theatres to see this film, take a friend.

Lisa's Score: 10/10

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