2017 may be the year of Stephen King. Yeah, some may argue that he’s past his heyday and we’ll never see the likes of The Shining or The Stand again, but his books continue to be best sellers and they get made into television mini-series and movies. OK, we won’t talk about The Dark Tower, which I didn’t even bother to see because it got such terrible reviews (and though I like Stephen King, I didn’t get past book three of The Dark Tower series). But that’s one disappointment and a sea of success.
And though I’ve yet to watch Mr. Mercedes (hope you’re not losing faith in me as a pop culture guru, dear readers; I am DVRing it for a future binging), its been getting good buzz. Hell, there was a whole parking lot at San Diego Comic Con devoted to Mr. Mercedes (free ice cream!) and the other Stephen King property that’s about to hit the big screen: IT.
Arguably one of King’s best novels, IT is an epic story about the town of Derry, which is haunted by a demon that mostly murders children. IT often takes the form of an evil clown, Pennywise. But nobody in Derry spoke of this horrible, dark secret. When Bill Denbrough’s little brother, Georgie is killed, it sets off a series for events that brings together the town’s outcast kids, now known as The Looser’s Club.
Together they both take on and are tormented by Pennywise in different shapes and forms. In the book, the story of their childhood is paralleled with their adulthood when they’re forced to return to Derry and face IT again.
The new movie only covers the story of the kids childhood. Which I think is perfect. And if done well, there will be a sequel taking on the story as them as adults. Yes, the old TV mini-series did it that way, too (kind of), and though that has some merits (mostly Tim Curry’s performance), this new version of IT is born into the world where horror movies are actually scary again. And I can’t wait to sit in the theaters and be terrified.
If you saw Annabelle 2 in the theaters, you got to see a preview of the opening scene. The tension in that alone was wonderfully unbearable. Even for those of us who read the book and knew what was coming next were on the edge or our seats. And not that I much trust those “early reaction” reports, but the one for IT have been very favorable.
Unless somebody screwed up somewhere along the way (like I’m assuming they did in The Dark Tower), IT has all the elements for a surefire hit. We got a book by horror master Stephen King. A Stand By Me coming of age type story with the kids, which is a perfect timed release, right between the seasons of Stranger Things. And you got a terrifying clown. But I’ve a feeling the producers know, that even though clowns are creepy, there has to be make the story fill you with fear.
We still have no idea when and if IT Part 2 is going to happen. And that, is truly horrifying.