With the IT Chapter 2 coming to theaters soon, I thought this would be an opportune time to discuss about the novel it was based on. Originally released in 1986, the novel was a sprawling opus over 1000 pages which told the story of seven children from Derry who each up the victim of a shape-shifting monster and by Derry itself. It is made clear that there is something not quite right with Derry, and the the creature who preyed there is directly responsible for it. There are certain people who are just as monsterous as the creature itself, but we will get into that in a bit. Be warned, there will be some spoilers so if you haven't read it yet, turn back now.
We will talk about the creature itself. What exactly is IT? Our first introduction to the creature is that it came from another planet, but it isn't until after the novel was published we learn it is an extra-dimensional monster that feeds on the fears of the children. It has no true form in our dimension, so it takes the shape of what fears us most, which ends up mainly being a clown. It feeds every 27 years, falling into a dormant state until it is time to feed again. It is in its latest circle that it meets 7 children who are somehow able thwart its attempts to feed on them.
These 7 children are bound by a fate they don't quite understand. yet they somehow know it is up to them to defeat the creature. There are forces that draw the children known as the Losers into battle with IT, and they nearly defeat it the first time around.
If they only had the monster to contend with, that would be enough, but they also have to contend with people who are hinted to be under the influence of the monster. There is a bully they have runs in time from time especially with the black member of the group. There is a female member of the group who is being preyed on by her own father. Another boy has asthma and has to deal with his overbearing mother. You get an idea as to why the bad people are easy prey to be corrupted by the creature.
27 years after the near defeat of the creature, 6 of the kids, who now have grown into adults are all called back to Derry to defeat the creature once and for all. The bully, who ended up driven insane by IT and sent to a mental asylum, comes back as well as a tool to be used. It is funny how the choices the Losers made as adults are repeated, with the asthmatic kid marries an overbearing wife, and the girl marrying an abusive husband. The husband travels to Derry with the intention of tracking his wife and ends up as another pawn of the monster. It all leads to a final battle with the monster who assumes the form of a Lovecraftian spider as that is the closest the adult mind could get to seeing the true form of the monster. It is a literal battle of the wits in which the Losers end up victorious..or do they? We find out in other novels that Derry never truly recovered from the hold of the creature that preyed on it for so long, and there are other forces at play that directly lead into the Dark Tower saga.
IT Chapter 1 was pretty faithful to the first half of the book, and the Bill Skarsgard playing Pennywise the Clown makes the character scary as heck. I will give Tim Curry his due(he played the character in the IT TV series), but Skarsgard was the perfect choice for the part. It will be interesting to see if the second movie is faithful to the second half of the book which focuses on the adults. From what I heard so far, it will be about three hours long, and even Stephen King has been singing his praises. I will be reviewing that movie when it comes out, so I will be sure to tell you my thoughts.
This wraps up my retrospective of the novel. Who else has read it? What are your thoughts of the novel and how do you think it compares to the movies? Feel free to share your thoughts below!!
Til next time, stay scared -Tha Thrilla-