It is almost impossible to try and mention modern-day horror books, or films, without mentioning the legendary Stephen King. This man is simply our times greatest horror storyteller. How do we know this? Almost all his books have been developed into films and have massacred at the box office. One of his most legendary books is IT. Adapted into a tv show and several films, this book has become one of the most legendary horror stories ever written. It is also somehow believed to be true in some regions of the world. So, what makes this book, published in 1986, one of the greatest stories ever told?
- A very nicely thought out story
The story of IT is just simply phenomenal. Let’s just start with the title of the book ‘IT’. Like who even titles their book It? This anonymity even sparks the curiosity of the reader further. When you delve into the book and start going through the journey of the children who mysteriously disappear in the local town of Maine, you get so consumed as you try to navigate your way through it. With an antagonist who is paranormal and feeds on the fears of his victims, who are children, you will be taken through a rollercoaster of emotions such as thrill, fear, excitement, and even spite as some level. The story is just phenomenal.
- The protagonists are children
Some of America’s greatest works of art in film and novel always have children as their protagonists. It taps into the emotion of consumers because of the innate love for kids. This is exactly what Stephen King taps into in his novel. Just a bunch of kids, who have insecurities, struggle with adolescence and acceptance, and on top of all that have an adversary who seeks to feed on their fear and eventually feed on them. The journey of these kids as they try to overcome their fears, as well as Pennywise, will lead them down a path that no one can predict.
Who does not love a good back story for their bad guy? Pennywise is genuinely one of the very best characters to ever be created. His strengths, weaknesses, motivations, and even tactics make him so sly, unpredictable, and dangerous. And it even gets worse when his main targets are kids. The character arc of this antagonist and his journey as he preys on small kids make him one of the best characters to ever be created in any story universe. It even got better when Bill Skarsgard brought that character to life in the 2017 film adaptation of the book. It was as though he was born just to play the dreaded pennywise.
- Supporting characters
Besides the seven main children who play the main characters, they have supporting friends and family who do a good job of developing the stories for these kids. It is so beautiful how Stephen King has woven together these characters and given them good support characters as well to make this more than just a mere horror film. It’s a relatable book to any individual who will find someone to identify with throughout the story.
Stephen King is just a master of his art, that is indisputable. And this has been proven in his works of art, and most especially It. There could be a slight back and forth on which is King’s greatest book and which film or tv show is the best adaptation, but one thing I am sure all horror fans can agree on is the fact that the entire horror universe would never be the same without Stephen King.