As a child of the 80’s and 90’s, I was pretty much like a lot of children of my generation– I grew up watching creepy dark comedies and shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark? Which at the time, were super scary to me and to this day, I can not forget the Melissa Joan Hart episode with the ghost-boy that would randomly pop up and whisper “I’m cold” until he was reunited with his lost red hoodie. TV and movies used to be a lot more than what they are today, for sure.
Stephen King’s IT was another thing all together. I was either 11 or 12 when I was forced to watch it with my little brother who, though only 7 or 8 at the time, lived for shit like that. As for me, I was completely terrified by both Tim Curry and clowns and showers and drains and storm drains and….for YEARS following having watched it. I’m 30 years old now and to this day, I get the urge to fast-walk passed storm drains. It doesn’t help that there is one right by where I park when I get home…at night? I fly into my house. What? I’m a writer, I am forever cursed with a very real over-active imagination that believes in the possibility of all things. Including that Tim Curry in full-blown It makeup will be in the storm drain, offering me a red balloon so he can rip off my arm.
Imagine my shock when I was older and sat down and actually read the 1,000 page novel with just how much more detail was in the actual story. And as with anyone who has read the novel, the gang bang scene with them as kids was probably one of the more uncomfortable parts of a Stephen King book that I had to get through. Then, as a writer by that point in my life, it also got me to think. This was an extremely long book to begin with and to allow the gang bang scene involving adolescent kids into publication? Like, was this the book where they finally said to him, you’re off the leash just go with it because we know it will sell? It has to be.
It took me over two weeks to re-read it. The novel is a really great example for character development and using detail in writing. I had to keep taking breaks from it because at times it was almost too much. I also was very confused about what happened to Tom Rogan, Bev’s abusive husband who follows her to Derry after beating her up and her friend, only to kidnap Bill’s wife Audra to take her to It, only to seemingly disappear before the final battle. I had to pull up book spoilers to find out his fate. Has that happened to anyone else? I seriously felt like I blinked and missed an entire section, but when I went back, it wasn’t there. Oversight or is it just that quick?
I can’t wait until September when the new movie comes out even though, I feel like the new film has a lot to top from the Tim Curry 1990 version. It’s also hard to see Pennywise being portrayed as so obviously evil when in the novel, Pennywise was an illusion, a mask for it’s true form because it was how It was able to get the children it needed to feed. I think we all need to go into the new version thinking of it as an entirely different take all together.
What I can’t forgive though? The fact that this will be two parts and we’ll have to wait even longer to see the Losers reunite as adults.
What’s the freakiest part though? It comes back every 27 years to wreak havoc on Derry. 1990? Oh yeah, that was…wait for it…27 years ago.