Rant/Review: Stephen King’s “IT” (1990)

As many of you may know by one of my previous posts: I have Coulrophobia, which loosely translates to the fact that clowns scare me shitless. I’ll admit I haven’t always been afraid of clowns, but then again, I was never really exposed to them when I was younger. However, after I got older there were frightening images of demented men in makeup chasing after children like; Pennywise in IT, Twisty from American Horror Story, or even those assholes that ran around in clown costumes back in fall of 2016.

At 20 years old, I finally decided to pick up the thousand-plus page book and managed to make it to chapter nine. All eight chapters were a total of 390 pages. Not even half-way. This was my first Stephen King book and it won’t be my last, but holy hell this is a handful. The descriptions were written out fairly well, but boy did Stephen King, “the King of horror,” mentally jump around a lot. Timeline jumps were everywhere, The Losers Club and their shenanigans were a little too familiar for my liking, and you could definitely tell King was not sober in the making of this book. It took him four years to write, and it’ll take me four years to read.

After I finally made it to chapter nine, I decided to watch the old movie from the 1990s. Maybe it’s just because I love Tim Curry, or maybe it’s because I can handle older horror movies easier than I can with the newer ones. Either way, the disappointment I experienced was astonishing and the ending to this movie did not push me to want to finish the remaining 755 pages.

As someone who did a lot of “research” on the approval ratings before I watched the film, I was crestfallen. The finale of this three-hour long, two-disc episode, was a gigantic letdown filled with mediocrity. Before I decided to jump into the “Constant Reader” world of Stephen King, I already knew that his way-of-writing was not for people who had a lot of time to do anything but read his novels. I, for one, took IT in at full-force until I got distracted by a 3,000 piece Harry Potter Aquarius puzzle.

Now before you decide to question why I might put this book down and never pick it back up, I already know that King approved the movie and how it was directed. The ending should primarily correlate with his novel, just like the first nine chapters did with the first hour-and-a-half of this movie.

While Tommy Lee Wallace is a renowned director in the older horror movie world, this movie did not live up to its full potential. However, it was not Wallace’s fault, at all. Due to the period in which this movie was made, they did what they could with the graphic components that were needed in the making. The timeline wasn’t anyone’s fault, much like The Evil Dead from the 80s, back then these movies were terrifying (or at least that’s what several people who were in their teens in the 80s has stated). It’s been twenty-seven years since Stephen King’s IT hit the theaters and     it took me twenty years to watch it.  Seven-year-old me would’ve more than likely been scared out of my mind, so I’ll admit I’m glad that I waited, but the inner critic in me says this movie will never be on my watch-list ever again.

This bourgeois work of fiction created by Stephen King and directed by Wallace had such a horrific ending. (There are SPOILERS ahead) so I’m going to go ahead and continue my rant on what exactly is going on in my brain about King’s little “plot twist.”

Today in the car I decided to “go off” to my friends about how irritating it is that King got away with this mediocre ending. Out of all the different ways of ending this novel/movie, Stephen “the King of horror”, chose to use a giant spider as the “bad guy.” PENNYWISE WAS A FRONT. You know, the one that’s printed on all of the books, shown off in memes, etc. Pennywise the clown. One of the main characters. Was just a giant freakin’ spider. BUT WAIT, there’s more. Not only is this spider “immortal”, it’s also capable of being killed by a group of forty-year-old men and a woman in a sewer. Out of all of the different things he could’ve chosen to use as the being behind Pennywise and The Loser Club’s nightmare… King chose a spider.

Honestly before anyone decides to make remarks, or think to themselves that I shouldn’t give up the book because books have more details than movies, trust me. I’ve already thought of this. As much as I want to push through the remaining 755 pages, I cannot force my brain to agree with the fact PENNYWISE IS A SPIDER. The writer inside me cannot believe that he got away with this complete and utter nonsense. Also, yes. Here I am criticizing one of the “greatest horror authors out there”, just by reading the first nine chapters of a book, watching a movie, and following him on every social media platform. As much as I wanted to get into King, I cannot believe I thought reading this book would help me overcome my fear. If anything, Tim Curry made Pennywise a hilarious piece of work if you watch the movie in today’s day and age.

Anyways. Now that I’ve put my opinion out into the world, I’ll end this post with somewhat of an apology. For those of you who read this that are obsessed with Stephen King, don’t hate me. Instead, take into consideration that maybe juuuuust maybe, this book was not as great as everyone originally thought it was. I loved the irony that he wrote this book “for the children” even though the dumbass spider/clown thing ate children, but I’ll admit I will be moving on to a different book. There are over 150 books on my shelves that I have not read yet (because trying to get through this book was preventing me from reading them), so I’m going to go back to my fictional world and leave this bourgeois piece of “horror” on my shelf to collect dust.

Coulrophobia

On the night of October 2, 2016, I had a horrific nightmare. As many of you probably know, there have been creepy clown sightings all over the states. They’ve been caught luring kids into the woods, there were assaults at college campuses (one occurred where my best friend attends, be safe Nicole), there have been sightings of them walking on public streets/dirt roads, and there have been many threats pointed towards school districts and Halloween. It’s 2016 and we’re worried about clowns. Rumor has it that they tend to appear every now and then at this time of the year, where they attempt to pull these same “pranks” we’ve read about today. Many think it’s a joke, however when somebody is chased down, assaulted, harassed or threatened, I don’t think it’s very funny. I’m not writing this blog to spread awareness, I’m writing it to elaborate more on why I only got 7 hours of sleep between October 2 and October 4.

The first night consisted of a vivid and graphic nightmare involving my best friends, Nicole and Marina. We were about to go on our usual Pokemon/mall trip when there were sirens and clowns appearing everywhere. Marina was driving, I was in the passenger seat and Nicole was in the back. Everywhere we turned there was a clown, we stayed in the car until the very last moment we had to get out to get into the mall. When we arrived we were escorted in by a group of police like we were being protected from paparazzi. Tonight was in a “Purge” setting. There were attacks, thefts, chases, and stalking. Police were still out protecting heavily populated areas because it wasn’t a government issued purge, it was an overthrow of the cities, by the clowns. Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton were on the television, clowns ran the streets, cops were in full force and people were scared. There were “Clown Lives Matters” posters and propaganda all over the commercials and walls of highly populated areas. Everyone had their doors locked. It was complete chaos.

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When Nicole, Marina and I were in the mall most of the people didn’t come to work. The majority of the stores were closed and we could only get into Hot Topic, Spencers and other stores like them. They didn’t care about the clown catastrophe outside, because they’re stores thrived off of it. They already had clown masks in their displays because Halloween was coming up and they were prepared for it in full force. The stores had many skimpy outfits, scary masks, makeup, and whatever else you needed for the upcoming holiday. No one could touch them because these were just the kind of stores they were, they already had these things before the clowns appeared and they already were set for any disturbance involving their inventory. After we got what we came for, we were escorted back to the car.

Afterwards, we continued our Pokemonning around Copperas Cove until late at night. It was around 2 in the morning when we decided it was time to go home. We were the closest to my house, so we went to 29th street. Where we thought the streets were bare, until we arrived outside of my house. Three clowns appeared behind the car and we weren’t sure how to get out because the police were lacking in this part of town. So naturally, we all were shaken. Marina put the car in drive and we sped off. The clowns proceeded to chase us all the way down the road and I woke up.

creepy-clown-2

The second night I went to bed at 11pm and I woke up at 2 in the morning because of yet another nightmare. This one, also included clowns. Except this time, I was with Cody and my little 5 year old sister, Willow.

Cody and I were sitting and drinking coffee on a porch in the front yard (I’m not sure whose porch it was) and Willow was playing in the culdesac where the house was located. We weren’t at the house we currently live in though, so I’m assuming it was just my imagination coming up with a location. The sun just went down, my parents were out of town and we were doing what we always do when Willow had a good day at school. The porch we were on was about a foot tall and you could see the culdesac very clearly because they installed more than one street lamp after the clown appearances started happening more at nighttime.

While Cody and I were drinking coffee, we were discussing this whole clown situation and about how there was a group of them sighted very closely to our location a couple of days ago. I, for one was terrified of the whole situation and Cody kept continuing on about how if he ever came across one that he’d kill it.

Then I just so happened to see movement in my peripherals. Which caused concern.

I look down, and there in the shadows was one of the creepy clowns curled up staring up at us. I let out a scream and couldn’t move, Cody stood up in his chair, cocked the gun he had in his belt and the clown disappeared.

Willow was still playing in the culdesac, until she let out a scream too. By the time we looked up she was running towards us with two clowns behind her. Cody started running towards them but by the time anything happened. I woke up.

I woke up at 2 in the morning to my brain imagining the clown curled up next to my bed and a creepy face in my room that looked a lot like this one:

creepy-clown-face

I woke up and couldn’t move. Not to go to the bathroom. Not to feed the animals. I couldn’t move. The last time I saw creepy faces in my room I was just a kid. I went to therapy for it along with my ADD. It was a while ago. Since the night of October 3rd, I’ve been able to get a full night of sleep because I started doing this technique I used to do when I was younger. I would basically make a barricade with my stuffed animals whenever I thought I’d have a nightmare and it worked for the most part. Well, resorting back to old ways isn’t necessarily a bad thing. So I tried it and the only dreams I’ve had have been about marching band, art, Legos, and other miscellaneous things.

I didn’t write this article as a cry for attention, I just wanted everyone to know why I haven’t gotten much sleep since this clown situation has started occurring. It’s not a joke to people with overactive imaginations and tremendous anxiety issues. I’ve been terrified of clowns my whole life so now that it’s all over social media and the news, it doesn’t make it any better. Judy Blume once said, “Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.” Now that doesn’t mean I’m going to go out and find a clown to beat down, or even watch “It”, but a way of overcoming nightmares/fears is to talk about them. The fact I was capable of even searching on Google for the images in this blog post, shows a little about the fact I’m becoming a little less afraid. Does this mean I’ll be over the whole fear of clowns by the end of the week? Probably not. Will I still get a little anxious at the sight of them? I might. However, I still took the first step in overcoming and just because it’s a little blog post doesn’t mean that I need to justify my ways of slowly, but surely overcoming Coulrophobia.