There’s never going to be a version of It as terrifying as the novel I read when I was 12.
I vividly remember hunching over the second-hand book’s dog-eared pages. Its cover was a black expanse with a yawning storm drain in the centre, illuminated by a pair of malevolent eyes. Of the book’s two narratives, I couldn’t quite relate to the adults’ storyline of architecture and unhappy marriages. The Losers’ Club, though… they struck a nerve. Bill, Beverly, Mike, Ben, Eddie, Richie and poor Stanley.
I saw something of myself in them. I saw the streets of the town I grew up through the streets of Derry; the streets haunted and terrorised by It, an elemental force that manifested itself as decaying hobos and fearsome werewolves and worst of all, the sinister Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
King’s novel petrified me not just because of its vividly-realised encounters with It, but with the insidious sense that It wasn’t just a monster that lived in the sewer. It was the neglect and abuse of this small town, the evil inclinations festering under the bland faces of the adults you’d begun to distrust.