When the trailers for IT (2017) started coming out, they were everywhere. Being curious myself, I thought that it wouldn’t be too bad to pick up the book and start reading before the movie came out, although after seeing some of the trailers, I had a feeling I would not be able to stomach watching IT. I am, personally, not a big fan of horror movies. I prefer reading horror much more than watching it, for a variety of reasons.
First of all, when reading horror, you can only imagine what you have the capacity to imagine. Even if the book dictates, it’s still your mind that is going to attempt to paint the scene. You have a degree of control over how scary a ‘scary’ scene really is. Secondly, if it does get overwhelming, you can just stop flipping the pages and put the book down, as opposed to being carried over by the current as the movie keeps rolling.
Lastly, you can always go back to the book and read it over and over and reimagine the scenes in different ways. I feel like movies are such a concrete representation of literature that it’s hard for your own imagination to create anything when everything is already handed to you on a platter. So yes, I greatly prefer books when it comes to horror. However, the idea of watching a horror movie in a group or perhaps in the cinema also sounds interesting that I would, one day, like to do as well.
Anyway, so I picked up a PDF of Stephen King’s IT and started reading it on my phone. Of course, it took a pretty long time because (1) I picked it up during my exam break so I was reading in between study sessions and (2) it’s such a long book! and (3) while I do end up reading more things on my phone than anything else, I still find phone-reading much more uncomfortable than reading from a physical book.
It must’ve taken me at least four weeks.
One of my greatest flaws, as a person, is that I am very impatient. The book was slow at times to the point where I had had enough and Wiki’d the book. Yes, that’s right. I went ahead and spoiled everything for myself and then buckled back down to wait for all the spoilers to happen, considerably more content and less jumpy about ‘man, when is this going to end?’.
I think my favorite idea presented in IT was the reasoning behind why this weird shape-shifting alien creature who preyed on fear chose to target children as opposed to adults. The reasoning given was that children had more tangible fears, like monsters under the bed or the mold under bathroom counters or blood or anything really. When we get older, we grow out of these fears and develop new ones. These new fears aren’t exactly physical fears that Pennywise can assume the shape of. Adults fear things like failure and bankruptcy and taxes- abstract concepts that can’t create an acute sense of fear.
I found that to be a very interesting statement and it was one of the main things that I got from the book. The second major idea that I liked was how it was discussed that while children are more susceptible to fear, they’re also more resilient to it. Fear would cause adults to be paralyzed (and in a far more greater risk of suffering a heart attack in my opinion), children seem to have the capacity to move on to the next greatest thing. They’re flexible, maybe even elastic, when it comes to adaptation and forgetting.
Anyway, once I was done reading the book, I decided to start watching the 1990 version of IT. In case you don’t know, there’s a pretty cool streaming website called rabb.it where you can basically use their browser to create a viewing room (of maximum 25 people) and then stream a movie. There’s a shared chat box and the remote can also be passed around. It’s a pretty cool stream site and I definitely recommend it for casual movie watching with a couple of internet friends. It’s where I streamed IT (1990) in three different sessions.
IT (1990) was not exactly what I expected it to be. It didn’t follow the book down to the very punctuation but it didn’t deviate too much, although things were omitted. There were scenes which I felt were far more dramatic in the book than in the movie, especially the scenes where the children fought Pennywise. Nevertheless, it was pretty enjoyable to watch such an old movie with friends.
One of my goals for 2018 will definitely be to watch IT (2017), that’s for sure. I have a feeling it would be much more better (and brighter) than the 1990 version. What about you? Do you read Stephen King’s novels? Which one is your favorite? Do you prefer reading horror or watching horror? Have a nice day!