I was left amazed by the new adapted Stephen King movie, IT. I am not a fan of horror, although I was left astonished with the quality of the film, as well as the themes it addresses.
I sat in the IMAX theatre awaiting the pre-release of IT, with a bowl of popcorn and Coke. On my one side sat a man in his thirties and on my other side a seventeen-year-old boy. As the movie started, I noticed how some people created their own way of dealing with the horror the film was about to bring. Laughs were one of the most common. By the end of the movie, everyone in the cinema was shook in one way or another. I sat there as the credits rolled and thought about how brilliant Stephen King was.
It exploits people’s fears (I think King had done some research on the most common fears of man, which weren’t the everyday spiders and snakes). In one way or another, the common viewer can identify with the character, the fear or the situation. By identifying with the fear, the viewer is forced to reckon with it. The film expresses that fear conquers one’s mind – if you let it. (“His fear was already gone; it had slipped away from him as easily as a nightmare slips away from a man who wakes, cold-skinned and gasping from its grip; who feels his body and stares at its surroundings to make sure that none of it had ever happened and who then begins at once to forget it. Half is gone at the time his feet hit the floor; three-quarters of it by the time he emerges from the shower and begins to towel off; all by the time he finishes breakfast. All gone. . . until the next time, when, in the grip of the nightmare, all fears will be remembered.”)
The themes in the film are dexterously introduced to the audience, possessed by fear and the characters’ actions. Immediate themes that come to mind are friendship, bullying, peer pressure. Throughout the film, the theme friendship is tested. The losers’ club are faced with their own fears and whether they can face (IT). Bullying – a serious matter which alters some of the characters’ fears or actions – is a global issue, especially in high school. Subjects such as abuse, molestation and rape by parents and closed ones are exposed through the emotional and psychological effect on the characters. Overprotective parents and the loss of a sibling rage children to act against their parents’ wishes. (“But who knows how long a grief may last? Isn’t it possible that, even thirty or forty years after the death of a child or a brother or a sister, one may half waken, thinking of that person with the same lost emptiness, that feeling of places which may never be filled… not even in death?”)
The quality of the film is impressive. The imagery used throughout the film creates the sense of horror that will scar the viewers for that moment, if not for life. The sound screams to the greatness of an IMAX theatre where the sounds of wood floor creaking, the teasing voices of familiarity and salvation to the captured souls (“We all float down here!”) and taunting music lures through the seats and finally whispers an unanticipated exhale in your ear.
I hope (it) captures you to face and finally conquer your fears. “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’” – Eleanor Roosevelt.
*(All quotations are from the Stephen King novel, IT.)
Follow the link to see how It would lure you into the sewers: http://lolsided.com/?quiz=131.