Book vs. Film: Halloween Edition

What's better? The book or the film?

Katie Siddall
28th October 2022
Image: Flickr, Inside The Magic
Stephen King's wonderful creation of a little boy in a yellow coat and a creepy clown carrying a red balloon has gone from generation to generation (even if you haven't watched it, you know about IT's existence).

As a person who claims to love horror films and then proceeds to jump at every jump scare, IT is a film that I can watch over and over and still jump even when I expect it...

The actors are wonderful and pull you into their horrifying world but the credit has to go towards Bill Skarsgård, as he brings Pennywise and all the connotations of why people may be scared of clowns to life.

My initial fear of clowns; however, came from the front cover illustrations of Pennywise on King's book. If I saw it in a bookstore I would walk straight in the opposite direction, feeling like Pennywise's eyes were following me no matter where I walked (and on occasion ran).

The book itself is written with incredible detail - you can see why Stephen King is one of the greatest author's of his generation and of his genre. When reading this creation you feel like you're in the world of Pennywise, you feel as though if you turn around he is breathing down your neck... waiting...

I gained more goosebumps and nerves reading King's creation than I did watching his creation come to life. Whilst reading, due to the immaculate writing, you feel the emotions of all the children whether Pennywise is stood in front of them or their fear of him is there. Whilst I will jump at the jump scares, I never have fear of Pennywise until the film is finished and I have to go outside, day or nighttime, to feed my rabbit.

I once watched IT with my mum who watched me go outside to feed my rabbit at night because we were both spooked by the film. I'm unsure whether my fear comes from the film or having read the book and feeling the terror throughout (yes this is a reference to Ann Radcliffe's Horror vs. Terror theory).

Overall, I feel as though the original creation of Stephen King's IT will always be the best. I suppose everyone says it but... the book is better...

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