Prolific horror writer, Stephen King had some of his novels turn into movies this year. I watched two of them- Gerald’s Game and IT
This was one of the novels, that I was dying to read, got it, read a couple of pages, and for some reason, I can’t remember, never finished it. So when I heard that the movie was coming out, I thought it was better I watch that than get disappointed watching it after reading the novel. BECAUSE BOOKS ARE BETTER THAN THEIR MOVIES!
Gerald’s Game reminded me a lot of MISERY. Especially the ending scene.
As for the main story, a couple goes to a remote lake house to spice up their marriage. Of course, it’s a Stephen King story, so even as simple as playing a love game, goes horribly wrong. In this case, the wife is handcuffed to the bed while the husband has a heart attack after consuming a “blue pill”.
Also, since it is a Stephen King movie, there has to be one disturbing scene and when it comes, you almost throw up in your mouth. There’s a dog that the wife was actually generous enough to share a pricey steak with. That very dog, comes up to her room, because she left the front door open, and starts feeding on the dead husband.
This makes the wife lose it and she hallucinates herself and her dead husband, standing on each side of her and doling out taunts and advice on how to get free.
She has a flashback of her childhood when she was a blooming teenager. On a solar eclipse day, she goes through a traumatic experience. Later in the movie, it is insinuated that it is that very memory, that helps her get out of this tricky situation.
In the meantime, there’s also a Moonlight Man who visits her in the dark and basically creeps her.
In the most cringe-worthy scene, the wife frees herself by cutting her wrists and almost skinning herself so that she could squeeze her hand out of the cuffs. It was hard to watch and I did gag.
In the end, she writes a letter with her damaged hand and even goes to the courthouse to witness the trial of a disfigured man who is a grave robber and a serial killer. She looks at him and then walks away into the sunlight.
This movie was, I would describe it, a survival story and a little disturbing. It wasn’t easy to watch some of the scenes, but I liked how they were handled- alluding to them but not going into extremities. Not too much blood, not too much gore, just you and your reasoning knowing what exactly is going on.
It did make for a creepy watch.
When you’re a kid, you’re scared of a number of things. I was scared of darkness, of heights, of pretty much everything. I hated playing Dark Room- a twist on a hide and seek game played in a dark room, but I played it nevertheless because I didn’t want to reveal my fear to my peers.
At that time I thought I was the only one with who was afraid of everything – a royal scaredy cat!
Then, one day, I decided I didn’t want to be scared anymore. My active imagination didn’t help at nights and I didn’t want to sleep with a night light forever.
How do you get over a fear? You face it, head on.
I would stand myself in a dark room, count till ten and run out. Just ten seconds. Easy right? Gradually I increased the number of seconds, until one day, a dark room was no longer one of my phobias.
Then came the fear of heights. I would stand on my balcony, just two floors high and look down, clutching onto the railing for dear life. Again I utilized the ten-second rule. That took some time, but it so happened that one day, I had rid myself of two of my fears.
When I started reading and interacting with other kids, I found that most of them were afraid of clowns. I didn’t understand it, but I also didn’t judge. After all, when I was five, I had thrown two public crying fits- one because Santa Claus’ beard scared the hell out of me, and once when I thought a wire coming out of a ceiling was a snake.
Till date, I can never understand why people are scared of clowns. The makeup? The creepy laugh?
It is because of this reason, that I couldn’t get into IT. Not a popular opinion, but I felt that the only way this movie would scare anyone is if they were below fifteen years of age or someone who has an extreme phobia of men dressed in silver frilly costumes, with painted wide smiles and bushy orange hair. Otherwise, anyone, like me, would find it outrageously hilarious.
The clown, just made me laugh. Maybe once, when it was shaking its head feverishly, that I was a little taken aback, but no, I couldn’t bring myself to be scared of a clown that could twist like a candy wrapper one minute, and then grown in size the next.
The other reason was, that the book was a little better at dispensing night terrors than the film. In a book, your imagination gives you your creepiest version of an event. In a movie, that very event is just the imagination of one person that you don’t even know- the director.
Anyway, the story is about a few kids from school who are bullied. Since they share a common enemy, they come together- all seven, one of them a girl. Each of them have been terrorized by what they fear who then transforms into a clown with a red balloon.
When one of them is taken by the clown, the friends must do the most courageous thing ever- get over their individual fears.
While the book does a good solid job in showing how these friends come together, in the movie, all of them doing whatever it takes, for a girl, seemed a little implausible because the friends, didn’t seem to share a close bond like the one it shows in the book.
But of course, had they gone into details, the movie would have clocked three hours.
IT does make a decent viewing, but I would eventually categorize it as a drama than a horror, mainly because I’m not scared of clowns.