Many of Stephen King’s horror novels have been adapted for the big screen, though only a handful of them have received as much hype as the 2017 remake of It. It is one of King’s books that’s regarded as a must-read, especially for horror aficionados, and it’s one that is often cited as being one of his most terrifying stories. Of course, that might just be the result of a society-wide fear of clowns.
It tells the tale of a shape-shifting monster, referred to as Pennywise, that preys on the children of a small town in Maine. The monster emerges from the sewer every 27 years, and this time around, seven friends determine to face the monster and rid the town of his presence. Perhaps predictably, that means facing their own fears in the process.
The story of Pennywise has been turned into a film before, but part of what makes the 2017 adaptation of It so compelling is that it actually takes a deep dive into King’s 1,000-plus-page novel. By breaking the film up into two parts, the second of which will hit theaters later this year, the filmmakers were able to focus on the two major themes present throughout King’s thriller: facing one’s fears and growing up.
Naturally, any adaptation of It will cover fear—it’s hard not to highlight the terror surrounding Pennywise and his attacks. But the fact the 2017 It focuses so heavily on the seven children and their characterization truly makes it a worthwhile interpretation of the book. Of course, it also helps that the actors and actresses are so talented.