Credit: Brooke Palmer / Warner Bros. / Allstar / Lorimar Television
by Mike Thorn Essays Feature Articles Featured Film

It‘s Back: Adaptations of Stephen King’s Horror Epic

November 30, 2023

Film adaptations of Stephen King’s work often suffer from genre misidentification. This isn’t to say that filmmakers mistakenly read King’s work as horror fiction — much of it undoubtedly is horror fiction. The primary shortcoming of many adaptations — including Andy Muschietti’s 2017/2019 It duology — is a limited perception of what the horror genre is, what it can do, and how it interfaces with other literary and cinematic traditions. It (1986) might well be King’s most horrific novel, its title representing the numinous and multifaceted object of fear itself. It’s as replete with monsters and grotesquerie as anything the author has written, but it also might be his most thematically and structurally ambitious work.

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