It’s not far-fetched to claim that Stephen King is one of my biggest influence in improving my English as a non-Native Speaker, apart from Enid Blyton. Having a sister who was so into his horror novels, I was sucked into that interest as well, initially out of curiosity. Been reading his writings such as “The Shining”, “The Stand”, “Hearts of Atlantis”, “Christine”, “Pet Sematary”, “Bag of Bones”, “The Dark Half”, “Four Past Midnight”,”Carrie”, etc! True, his writings are graphic and quite nauseating to the faint hearts but I guess having that duality Gemini in me, I am kinda blended with the gory flavour. I’ve written some of the novel reviews in my blog such as (mind my flawed language. I gradually perfecting my language prowess as years go by. Haha!) :-
- “Pet Sematary” @ 18th June 2008 (https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2008/06/18/stephen-kings-pet-sematary/);
- “Salem’s Lot” @ 18th January 2008 (https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2008/01/18/a-quick-jot-from-assistant-relationship-manager-childlike-review-on-stephen-kings-salems-lot/);
- “The Dark Half” 1st Review @ 18th April 2007 (https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2007/04/18/whimsical-writing-the-dark-half-by-stephen-king/);
- “The Dark Half” 2nd Review @ 30th November 2011 (https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/diabolically-quenching-back-to-black-part-i-the-dark-half-by-stephen-king/);
- “Christine” @ 2 December 2011 (https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/diabolically-quenching-back-to-black-part-ii-christine-by-stephen-king-the-rage-of-a-plymouth-fury-58/);
- “Carrie” @ 26th August 2010 (https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/nuzul-al-quran-finale-of-heavenly-revelation-stephen-kings-carrie-possibly-pharyngitis/);
- “The Shining” @ 24th January 2012 (https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/diabolically-quenching-back-to-black-part-iii-the-wrath-of-alcohol-addiction-stephen-kings-the-shining/).
When we were little back in FRU Flats, Penang; we watched the drama adaptation of Stephen King’s “It” like most of other Malaysian 90s babies and teenagers. Sure, it scared the shits out of us!! But there was this curiosity of wanting to know the ending of the story. As the miniseries was split into two parts for two nights (in TV2’s Dunhill Double!) due to the lengthy plot, my sister and I had that dilemma whether to watch the subsequent plot on the second night – but curiosity won and we watched it till the end! Hahaha!
The posters from my Instagram account – The 2017 version & the 1990 version.
After a few years when I finally read the novel, I learned that the real story written was more horrifying than the dramatization – there were endless curses, homophobic paranoia (one of the victims was a drag queen performer and he did some fellatio!), paedophilic orgy (Beverly had to have sex with all the boys as ritual!), etc! Nevertheless, the gist of the story was full of thrilling excitement and really played with your unfathomable nightmare. By naming the spirit It (for not knowing the real shape of the entity, although finally it was revealed that it embodied an arachnid-shaped!), Stephen King was toying with the sense of mystery with the readers as well. It manipulated the unknown fear amongst humans.
The book cover version we have at home!
The man behind the gory tales. Some said he has the inclination of writing horror stories due to a traumatic accident he saw when he was a kid, but he disputed that.
So, you can imagine how excited my sister and I when we learned that there would be a new revamped version of film adaptation of the novel in 2017! After watching the 2017 version, I would say that as a stand-alone film, the new version was alright as the cinematography was amazing and shocking gory scenes really curled your body hairs and not to say, heart-pumping as well! The current-modern CGI technology also helped the 2017 film to be more visually-friendly towards the gory scenes (blood erupted from the sink, etc). NEVERTHELESS, if you are a Stephen King’s die-hard fan who have been reading his NOVELS, you will be disappointed a little bit due to the film’s alteration from the novel. Why? Because you expect that the script would be true to the essence of the novel and you hoped that the film maker would be able to infuse the whole plot into one film; from the team’s childhood and defeated It and later reunited 27 years later to battle the resurrected It, again! But of course since the 2017’s version is dubbed as CHAPTER 1; it could be that the film producers have decided to focus on the kids as grown up and battling It 27 years later in a separate movie!
Tim Curry as Pennywise The Clown in the 1990 version.
Bill Skasgard as Pennywise The Clown in 2017 version.
So, to sum up my review, the 2017 version isn’t that bad, it has its strength and beautifully-crafted although some of the original scenes in 1990’s miniseries and in the novel were omitted – BUT for Stephen King’s fan, it is just a mediocre adaptation of King’s excellent gory masterpiece, if not the greatest.
It was sibling bonding time! Reminiscing our childhood nightmares! Haha! A long way from Penang to Putrajaya, no?