Slurktan

Stephen King's IT

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8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm not sure about that. There is no explanation given in the book as to why the thing came to earth nor to that god-forsaken Derry place. In fact, considering the topic of the evil town the story could have been more effective if there had been always some sort of permanent settlement. After all, we have no idea on what the thing fed for tens of thousands of years before people permanently lived in the region.

But the idea that it once had grander plans and abandoned them isn't given. It is just played up as this huge and nearly omnipotent ancient being that can be killed rather easily.

There is a lot of inconsistency there - we have that scene where the Losers are watched by the creature in the Barrens using its huge spider eyes, indicating that it was the spider at that point and it being it's 'normal form'. But during the Hockstetter story we learn that it essentially wears some sort of glamor or magical mask, allowing it to take the shape of the thing its victim fears most. Since Hockstetter fears nothing the thing isn't exactly impressive there

And the episode about the boy with the abusive father - who Mike nearly ran into - reinforces that plot point and strengthen it since the creature is essentially forced into a shape by the boy and then loses this shape after the boy is dead.

The procreation subplot in spider form only makes sense if the spider is *really* its true bodily form - but if that was the case (as the spider eyes scene in the Barrens indicates) then there is no way this thing could move around through the sewers considering the massive size of the spider. 

Yeah, that part of the story does make sense. However, what's more trouble is the whole Ritual of Chüd thing - that's something for a small trickster or demon, nor some creature that's older than the universe. The very concept that creatures older than the universe can *die* doesn't make a lot of sense. For such beings the denizens of the universe should be about as real as computer game characters are to us.

I mean, Jesus could only be killed because he allowed himself to be killed, right? The thing did nothing of that sort. It didn't came to the world to die.

Well, but shouldn't it be able to abandon that body again, or to take a shape that is immortal? And if those weirdo dead lights are outside of the universe then why is the part of the thing that's there, and always there (where the thing tries to throw Bill during their fight) not safe from any harm?

But there are hints that this isn't everything. Or not part of the whole thing. Those historic pieces give us the other killing sprees of the monster, and what you realize there is that the earlier incidents didn't primarily focus on children but on killing various groups and it also always included the denizens of Derry into the madness in a very active role - the attack on the club run by the blacks, the shooting of those outlaws who fled from the West, the completely mysterious incident in the factory that killed over a hundred people, etc. In combination that there is always a ritualistic aspect to the whole thing - a thing that sets off the killing spree (the incident with the gay couple, the abusive father killing his younger stepson, etc.) - indicates that Pennywise was originally supposed to be much more connected to the town than he actually seems to be.

The good denizens of Derry do not only look the other way they actually join Pennywise in his murders, and that's what seems to give him the greatest kick. That's why he is there, participating and relishing in the shooting, the fire at the club, the murders at the bar, etc. He doesn't kill children there, he just enjoys the sport others do in his town.

Now, that kind of thing fits much better with some sort of local evil deity or demon. The thing is very territorial and does not venture far beyond the confines of Derry. One could even imagine it has made some sort of blood pact with the townsfolk - give me my due and I let your live (and prosper). That also fits very nice with the sleeping cycle for which there is no explanation given at all. I mean, a truly powerful creature could be active all the time, right?

So part of the thing is that IT is actually two individual things. It's true form is the deadlights which is the cosmic destroyer entity opposite the creator turtle. That form still exists. It's corporeal form is essentially the Spider, but the Spider is really just a physical manifestation of the deadlights that is morphed into whatever humans can as closely conceive to it. The deadlights themselves drive people insane. 

It came to Derry in prehistoric times. There's literally a chapter where IT explains that by creating its corporeal form that is powered by belief, that he created an unforeseen weakness that made its physical form vulnerable. And if it's physical form can be destroyed, the entire entity is. 

Think of it like this. In the Christian faith, God is immortal and can't be killed, but he created himself on Earth in Jesus. Because Jesus took on all the characteristics of humans he could still be killed (albeit he could be ressurected). That's what IT did. 

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I honestly thought the film was low on the jump scares, particular compared to modern horror films. 

And trying to apply logic to early King books is not going to work, the man doesn't even remember WRITING Cujo. 

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Also regarding jump scares: 

Spoiler

that damn scene with the slide projector almost made me crap myself

 

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Also regarding IT, I think it's a question of scale. To the people of Derry, who don't know any better and presume they live in the "real world," IT is a terrifying cosmic destroyer entity. But in the greater Dark Tower-verse, IT is just one of many powerful entities. IT is the opposite of the Turtle, but the Turtle is only 1 of 12 guardians (Or maybe many more than that, if there are many verisions of the beams). And the guardians are not all-powerful, as seen by what North Central Positronics alone was capable of. It's a big scary multiverse out there, and I could believe that IT would choose an easier life of messing with this one town rather than keep dealing with it all.

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Trying to provide any real consistent logic to the weirdness of King's universe is pretty shaky, as Darth Richard II said. This is a book where the universe exists because a giant god-turtle accidentally vomited it up, and that's not even the weirdest thing in the whole Stephen King Cosmos.

The Ritual of Chud works because God/Gan/The White/The Other is welding the kids together as a weapon to destroy It, and essentially turning the products of their imagination into real things. It also apparently has a DIY ethic when it comes to solving problems (that seriously comes up in Insomnia ). It is stuck in Derry because It's a giant lovecraftian monster that got "stuck" partially in our universe, leaving It vulnerable to attack. It doesn't really have any plans or the like - It  just likes to eat and sleep. 

1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

the man doesn't even remember WRITING Cujo. 

 

Although to be fair, It was published in 1986, during the long climb he did into sobriety.

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I mean ever without all the drugs, the man is a complete free writer and does not outline or plan at all. I don't even know if he revises. So trying to apply logic just isn't going to work.

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10 hours ago, Manhole Eunuchsbane said:

Eh, I don't know. If the antagonist or protagonist is all powerful, there's no story really. It's just "let me tell you how this unstoppable, godlike creature kicked the living shit out of everything and nothing could even hope to slow it down". I've always liked the idea that the all powerful character should have a fatal weakness. The trick is in figuring out what that weakness is.

It depends on the setting. If you write a horror story or novel there is no need for the monster/horror to be defeated in the end. If it is it is not all that horrible, anyway, never mind how many people it killed before.

But sure, King usually writes standard Good vs. Evil stories where the good guys triumph in the end.

7 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

But why would a god-like being, older than the universe with potentially vast and unfathomably intellect, behave in a way that would make sense for the human brain to comprehend? We shouldn't be able to understand why IT does what it does any more than my pet bird would understand the inner workings of my laptop.

You ever have a cat bring you a dead animal? The cat is doing that because it thinks your an idiot that should really be out hunting, and it's trying to show you the correct way. The cat has no way of understanding the depths and sophistication of your intellect, so it doesn't realize that your way of feeding yourself makes a lot more sense.

We're the cat in this comparison.

Well, that kind of reasoning would make sense if the thing was presented as this utterly alien and incomprehensible being beyond human understanding. But it is not since a bunch of preteens figure it and its motivations and weaknesses out more or less completely.

The gang knows what the thing wants, they understand its modus operandi, its weaknesses, and the way to defeat it. You cannot say that it is beyond human comprehension if the entire novel makes it clear that children actually do understand its motivations - especially not since the sections of the book written from its own POV make it even more clear that its line of thinking isn't that different from a human being. From that point on the thing is no longer scary at all but rather a pitiful and doomed creature.

The question whether a creature as powerful and ancient as this thing should do what it does is very much a justified question. I mean, we know that it is older than the universe, and that - as far as it knows - there are only itself and the Turtle around - so on what did it feed while there was no universe? How does it makes sense that a creature which is not corporeal should want to have a body? And why should it want to feed on human fear (and flesh) in the first place? Sure the thing was perfectly happy, *alive*, and functioning long before the universe existed and human beings developed on this planet. Beings usually do not develop tastes and desired based on things that did not yet exist while they themselves formed - so why thrives this thing on human fear?

Giving the thing the dimensions it gets throughout the course of the story destroys the consistency of the creature.

If it had been a corporeal creature from the start - perhaps being descended or somehow connected to a trans-dimensional 'evil sphere' embodied by the dead lights - then we could see and understand why it should have corporeal needs and desires.

6 hours ago, lancerman said:

So part of the thing is that IT is actually two individual things. It's true form is the deadlights which is the cosmic destroyer entity opposite the creator turtle. That form still exists. It's corporeal form is essentially the Spider, but the Spider is really just a physical manifestation of the deadlights that is morphed into whatever humans can as closely conceive to it. The deadlights themselves drive people insane. 

It came to Derry in prehistoric times. There's literally a chapter where IT explains that by creating its corporeal form that is powered by belief, that he created an unforeseen weakness that made its physical form vulnerable. And if it's physical form can be destroyed, the entire entity is. 

I know that, and this makes sense to a point. What doesn't make any sense is that a creature knowing all that would make the mistakes the thing did. If the rules are that corporeal/incarnate creatures can be killed so can the thing it is corporeal, right?

And the other part is that the idea that the spider - as is said when the gang confronts in its lair - is sort of the closest common denominator of the children's ability to comprehend the true nature of the thing. As I've said, the thing watches the gang with those spider eyes in the Barrens when nobody is looking. Why does it have the spider guise then? If it constantly changes how on earth could it procreate in spider form and create little spider eggs? And if it always a spider - perhaps because that is its true form, the one it wears beneath all those masks - then how on earth can it moves around in the town and the sewers? If Pennywise and the other masks are all illusions rather than actual transformations then this doesn't make a lot of sense.

Prior to the spider revelation the impression one gets is that thing doesn't actually have a fixed form and only takes one whenever it is confronted by people. I think the best hint in that direction is when it comes out of the well in the house in Neibolt Street and then jumps back in there after it has been hit by the silver bullet. It only has a fixed form and shape when it is close enough to being seen.

6 hours ago, lancerman said:

Think of it like this. In the Christian faith, God is immortal and can't be killed, but he created himself on Earth in Jesus. Because Jesus took on all the characteristics of humans he could still be killed (albeit he could be ressurected). That's what IT did. 

Well, that is actually heretical. Christ was both man and god, and god most definitely is not mortal. He allowed himself to be killed but they couldn't have killed him had he not been willing to die. And whether he truly died is another question entirely considering that 'Jesus Christ' is but a third of the trinity, and nobody ever said anything about the Father and the Holy Ghost dying - so one wonders in what sense the 'god part' of Jesus could have been dead in any real sense if the other two thirds of the deity did not die.

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6 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

And trying to apply logic to early King books is not going to work, the man doesn't even remember WRITING Cujo. 

Never read that one, but from what I know it actually has a plot. Although one wonders whether it makes a lot of sense writing a novel from the POV of a dog.

5 hours ago, Fez said:

Also regarding IT, I think it's a question of scale. To the people of Derry, who don't know any better and presume they live in the "real world," IT is a terrifying cosmic destroyer entity. But in the greater Dark Tower-verse, IT is just one of many powerful entities. IT is the opposite of the Turtle, but the Turtle is only 1 of 12 guardians (Or maybe many more than that, if there are many verisions of the beams). And the guardians are not all-powerful, as seen by what North Central Positronics alone was capable of. It's a big scary multiverse out there, and I could believe that IT would choose an easier life of messing with this one town rather than keep dealing with it all.

You cannot really bring those things together. The Turtle dies in IT, and there is never any confirmation that it is actually guardian turtle Maturin - if it is then Maturin is dead, too. Which he doesn't seem to be in the later volumes of the TDT series since his presence and totem helps the good guys more than once.

And nobody ever said anything about Maturin producing the universe, so those are either two different turtles or the whole thing doesn't make any sense.

The world of IT is much smaller than the world of TDT since the latter did not really exist at that point.

There are certainly similarities between the Crimson King and Mordred and IT's spidery form, etc. but the IT thing clearly is much more powerful and ancient than either of those. The Crimson King is nothing but a bastard of Arthur Eld, some werespider (whatever that is), and his bastard Mordred is more or less the same. Roland's enemies - Walder Padick included, who is just a miller's boy who got raped on the road and learned some cheap tricks - aren't as ancient or powerful as the IT thing. In fact, they may claim to want to destroy the universe but they were about as likely to succeed at that enterprise as I'd if I made such claims. At least that's the picture you get in the last book of the series. They are all utter morons who don't have any special powers. Mordred is dying of food poisoning, Walder is an utter moron who doesn't have any powers, and the Crimson King is a mad Santa trying to beat Roland at Quidditch.

And the very pretext of the TDT series that human beings could develop technology as powerful as that of NCP, etc. shows that humanity was always more powerful than those stupid demons. They never had a chance.

Which is why the TDT is such a disappointment.

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@Lord Varys

You're missing the point man. It doesn't matter what IT's motivations were, or that the Loser's were able to figure them out (though I'd argue that they never entirely did), or why IT chose to hang out in Derry and eat children instead of setting itself up as Spider-Goddess of the Universe. Whether IT's true form was a spider, or a clown, or the Deadlights, or something else doesn't matter. Nor whether it was really hurt by the silver bullets, or by something intrinsic to the Losers, or by Gan using them to kill IT as part of a grand plan, the way a Zika infected mosquito might kill the next Hitler in his crib.

You might as well ask why Victor Frankenstein didn't just make the Monster an infertile bride, or how in the fuck a yacht was able to knock out Cthulhu. For that matter, why do the Old Ones need human servants to resurrect them if they're so powerful?

When you think you're afraid of the dark because of the mystery it represents, of every unknowable fear, that's scary, and beautiful, and powerful. When you realize that you're afraid of the dark because of an evolutionary aversion to nocturnal predators, it becomes clinical... and it makes for bullshit storytelling.

IT is horror. It doesn't have to be explained. If anything, it suffers from explanation.

That all being said, I do agree with you that giving IT a POV was probably a mistake. At least, it was in the way that King handled it.

@Darth Richard II

It was really only the last few lines of Cujo that made me wonder wtf King was snorting.

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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36 minutes ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

@Lord Varys

You're missing the point man. It doesn't matter what IT's motivations were, or that the Loser's were able to figure them out (though I'd argue that they never entirely did), or why IT chose to hang out in Derry and eat children instead of setting itself up as Spider-Goddess of the Universe. Whether IT's true form was a spider, or a clown, or the Deadlights, or something else doesn't matter. Nor whether it was really hurt by the silver bullets, or by something intrinsic to the Losers, or by Gan using them to kill IT as part of a grand plan, the way a Zika infected mosquito might kill the next Hitler in his crib.

You might as well ask why Victor Frankenstein didn't just make the Monster an infertile bride, or how in the fuck a yacht was able to knock out Cthulhu. For that matter, why do the Old Ones need human servants to resurrect them if they're so powerful?

When you think you're afraid of the dark because of the mystery it represents, of every unknowable fear, that's scary, and beautiful, and powerful. When you realize that you're afraid of the dark because of an evolutionary aversion to nocturnal predators, it becomes clinical... and it makes for bullshit storytelling.

IT is horror. It doesn't have to be explained. If anything, it suffers from explanation.

That all being said, I do agree with you that giving IT a POV was probably a mistake. At least, it was in the way that King handled it.

I agree with you that a horror novel or story doesn't have to explain everything about 'the horrible thing/event'. That can kill the story. 'The Colour Out of Space' is a very fine example for how not understanding anything about 'the thing' really helps with the horror effects.

That is why I've said that IT could have been King's masterpiece if Pennywise had won. But that would have been a different novel. Imagine those historical pieces from Mike's POV in combination with many of the narratives of the children who got killed and eaten. That would have been a very fine tapestry of horror stories and novellas. But King wanted to write something different, something where good triumphed over evil. And for that you need some mechanics.

And when the author himself drags in metaphysical background information and world-building then we as the readers have a right to be presented with a consistent back story that makes sense within the framework of the story.

IT isn't really a true horror novel at the core, it is a novel about children, friendship, growing up, and fear. The horror setting gives way to a Good vs. Evil fantasy setting. And within that setting you have a right to demand consistency. Just as we have a right to know why destroying the One Ring is going to destroy Sauron.

Still, the man can write and portray fear better than (m)any other authors alive. Blowing up the book to the proportions it has actually helps with that because it draws you in and helps you get to know the characters, makes them come alive, and then see how their sanity and lives are threatened. The historical pieces and the reactions of the Losers to the phone calls are very great examples for that kind of thing.

Salem's Lot does this much better. Barlow is a classical vampire, operating as such a creature. We know how to put him down but this doesn't make it easier or the fear go away. If the thing in IT had been more consistent - and the metaphysics less weird - it would have worked much better as a story.

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I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

I'm really pleased they chose to just pick the children's section of the novel and i'm already excited for the sequel. 

I'm also incredibly pleased that this wasn't trying to be a ridiculously terrifying horror film. It was basically a kids hero adventure film with horrific moments and I think that worked really, really well. All of the 'Fears' that Pennywise transformed into were all things that would realistically terrify children, especially these children and that was handled really well. 

 

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And you know what, I think Bill Skarsgard did a bloody excellent job! Any actor would find that task daunting (following Tim Curry's footsteps) but I'm trying not to compare them too much and Bill's Pennywise worked incredibly well for this film. He wasn't nightmare fuel for adults but he was unsettling and despite what some people say I think his appearance is incredibly memorable. 

Love the little nuances and quirks he had like the gangly gait and the constant dribble across his massive bottom lip. 

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On 08/09/2017 at 10:18 PM, Lord Varys said:

 

IT is just shy of being King's best horror novel. I think the main flaw is that he ended up blowing the villain up to monstrous proportions (trans-dimensional evil Old One creature which has nothing better to do than eat children?!) while giving the children the ability to defeat it the way they do.

It would have worked much better if the monster had just been a minor demon - a trickster or shape-shifter feeding off human fear and flesh rather than a thing that's older than the universe - or if it had won in the end. This book would have been really horrible if the creature had won.

But I guess King worked himself up the stairs, so to speak, while writing it. The thing is really horrible so it must be ancient and powerful, too, I guess.

You know what, this was always my problem with the novel. And I think the film tackled this excellently. I wasn't absolutely terrified of Pennywise nor did I get the impression he was some great ancient elemental creature as old as the universe itself but It did seem like a very, very old and horrifying demon like creature in the film. And I really liked the way Pennywise was handled. I liked that they almost made him, at the end, seem kind of pathetic when the children are no longer conquered by their fears. I thought that was a nice touch because without fear Pennywise (as a minor demon thing, though old and scary) isn't really that significant which is the best way to approach this concept of the embodiment of fear, whereas if he's some huge Old One creature like you say) it makes it a bit too ridiculous. 

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19 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

But King wanted to write something different, something where good triumphed over evil. And for that you need some mechanics.

That's why splitting the horror elements with the story about childhood was brilliant. If the Losers were six college kids, then yeah, you'd need the mechanics. But the fact that they're children (or adults attempting to recapture a part of childhood), seeing the world through childish eyes, allows King to maintain the ambiguity of cosmic horror, without compromising the other half of the story.

Quote

That is why I've said that IT could have been King's masterpiece if Pennywise had won.

I can't imagine very many people being satisfied sitting through a novel that long just to have the monster win in the end. The story you're describing is a novella, or maybe a short serial novel ala The Green Mile. But it would be a strange choice for a traditional King novel. And even if he trimmed the fat--cutting out the adult portions, for example--the story would lose all of its heart having IT win in the end. It would lose what really makes the novel special. You take that away and you're left with a middle of the road horror novel. Better than the stinkers, but not on the level of The Shining, 'Salem's Lot, and Pet Sematary.

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8 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Also regarding jump scares: 

  Reveal hidden contents

that damn scene with the slide projector almost made me crap myself

 

That scene was genuinely horrifying. And I agree about the lack of jump scares  - I don't think there were a huge amount! and I don't mind the horror movie cliche's because this movie seemed absolutely self aware of them. 

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1 hour ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

That's why splitting the horror elements with the story about childhood was brilliant. If the Losers were six college kids, then yeah, you'd need the mechanics. But the fact that they're children (or adults attempting to recapture a part of childhood), seeing the world through childish eyes, allows King to maintain the ambiguity of cosmic horror, without compromising the other half of the story.

With 'mechanics' I meant what we are given in the novel, anyway. The idea that using silver bullets to attack the thing, the idea of the Ritual of Chüd, etc. Not to mention the presence of this other power which is far more powerful than the thing and the Turtle.

The children figure out a way how to fight and defeat this thing. And there are (metaphysical) rules how to go about that. The problem I have (or I see) is that those rules are inconsistent or make no sense due to the fact what Pennywise is supposed to be.

1 hour ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

I can't imagine very many people being satisfied sitting through a novel that long just to have the monster win in the end. The story you're describing is a novella, or maybe a short serial novel ala The Green Mile. But it would be a strange choice for a traditional King novel. And even if he trimmed the fat--cutting out the adult portions, for example--the story would lose all of its heart having IT win in the end. It would lose what really makes the novel special. You take that away and you're left with a middle of the road horror novel. Better than the stinkers, but not on the level of The Shining, 'Salem's Lot, and Pet Sematary.

Sure, for IT to work in that way you would have to sacrifice the Losers being heroes fighting (and winning) the good fight, that's clear. It would have been a different novel.

Pet Sematary has that kind of ending - although I find that novel very unconvincing for a number of reasons - and Revival, too, which is pretty convincing in that regard (although I find the afterlife as this torture hell not all that convincing).

It might not have been a big success with such an ending but it could have been one of the greatest horror novels of all time.

But then - the way I see it could either have been that really great horror novel or it could have been a much better the way it is if the thing hadn't been that trans-dimensional Old One thing. It could still have been old and dangerous but it would have sufficed if it had been an old and dangerous physical monster which could die without the death coming off as silly or weird.

And as a minor demon the whole territorial thing, the fact that it groomed the good denizens of Derry the way it wanted them to be, etc. would all made have much more sense that way. Even the whole pact-thing that seems to be there between the townsfolk and the creature would have made more sense. The thing could have begun as some kind of local fertility or guardian deity. Give the thing a bunch of people every thirty years or so and exchange the settlement is going to prosper - we know it has that kind of power from the 'rewards' it gives (and offers) the Losers - success in the big world and later the offer a long life if they were to spare the life of the thing.

1 hour ago, Theda Baratheon said:

You know what, this was always my problem with the novel. And I think the film tackled this excellently. I wasn't absolutely terrified of Pennywise nor did I get the impression he was some great ancient elemental creature as old as the universe itself but It did seem like a very, very old and horrifying demon like creature in the film. And I really liked the way Pennywise was handled. I liked that they almost made him, at the end, seem kind of pathetic when the children are no longer conquered by their fears. I thought that was a nice touch because without fear Pennywise (as a minor demon thing, though old and scary) isn't really that significant which is the best way to approach this concept of the embodiment of fear, whereas if he's some huge Old One creature like you say) it makes it a bit too ridiculous. 

The message the book is sending seems to be that not being afraid of the thing isn't enough. Its claws and teeth are still real, never mind what you believe. The best example for that is the Hockstatter murder in the book. The boy fears nothing yet that doesn't save him.

Sure, if you are not afraid then you don't taste as well - and it might not really get what it really wants from you - but you still have to kill it.

The book (and I guess the new movie, too) makes the whole thing a battle of wills, especially in the Ritual of Chüd. But how on earth could a creature as old and powerful as the thing is supposed to be in the book ever see anything else than mindless food in the people it eats. I mean, sure, we also can get hurt by the food animals and the like but we usually are not terribly afraid of them afterwards. And from the point of view of the thing Derry should be a farm of cattle or swine but rather a field of wheat or corn, ripe for the taking. You don't battle your food, nor are you angry or afraid of it...

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I think your missing my point, There is no logic or consistence to King novels in the ones where he was sober, He just doesn't work that way, so trying to apply anything like that to some of his older work is just pointless. He literally makes this shit up as he goes.

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5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It depends on the setting. If you write a horror story or novel there is no need for the monster/horror to be defeated in the end. If it is it is not all that horrible, anyway, never mind how many people it killed before.

But sure, King usually writes standard Good vs. Evil stories where the good guys triumph in the end.

Oh yeah, some of my favorite Horror stories have really bleak endings. The Ruins by Scott Smith would be one example. 

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50 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

I think your missing my point, There is no logic or consistence to King novels in the ones where he was sober, He just doesn't work that way, so trying to apply anything like that to some of his older work is just pointless. He literally makes this shit up as he goes.

That isn't the issue. You can make shit up and still be consistent on the level of character development and story consistency. You don't have to plan everything in advance to be consistent.

And King is much better in that department in many other (older) books than you give him credit for. Salem's Lot works pretty well in that department.

And just to clarify - I don't think IT is all that bad, or anything, far to the contrary. It still is one of his better works. But it could have been a lot better if the monster had been more consistent.

Edited by Lord Varys

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

With 'mechanics' I meant what we are given in the novel, anyway. The idea that using silver bullets to attack the thing, the idea of the Ritual of Chüd, etc. Not to mention the presence of this other power which is far more powerful than the thing and the Turtle.

The children figure out a way how to fight and defeat this thing. And there are (metaphysical) rules how to go about that. The problem I have (or I see) is that those rules are inconsistent or make no sense due to the fact what Pennywise is supposed to be.

Sure, for IT to work in that way you would have to sacrifice the Losers being heroes fighting (and winning) the good fight, that's clear. It would have been a different novel.

Pet Sematary has that kind of ending - although I find that novel very unconvincing for a number of reasons - and Revival, too, which is pretty convincing in that regard (although I find the afterlife as this torture hell not all that convincing).

It might not have been a big success with such an ending but it could have been one of the greatest horror novels of all time.

But then - the way I see it could either have been that really great horror novel or it could have been a much better the way it is if the thing hadn't been that trans-dimensional Old One thing. It could still have been old and dangerous but it would have sufficed if it had been an old and dangerous physical monster which could die without the death coming off as silly or weird.

And as a minor demon the whole territorial thing, the fact that it groomed the good denizens of Derry the way it wanted them to be, etc. would all made have much more sense that way. Even the whole pact-thing that seems to be there between the townsfolk and the creature would have made more sense. The thing could have begun as some kind of local fertility or guardian deity. Give the thing a bunch of people every thirty years or so and exchange the settlement is going to prosper - we know it has that kind of power from the 'rewards' it gives (and offers) the Losers - success in the big world and later the offer a long life if they were to spare the life of the thing.

The message the book is sending seems to be that not being afraid of the thing isn't enough. Its claws and teeth are still real, never mind what you believe. The best example for that is the Hockstatter murder in the book. The boy fears nothing yet that doesn't save him.

Sure, if you are not afraid then you don't taste as well - and it might not really get what it really wants from you - but you still have to kill it.

The book (and I guess the new movie, too) makes the whole thing a battle of wills, especially in the Ritual of Chüd. But how on earth could a creature as old and powerful as the thing is supposed to be in the book ever see anything else than mindless food in the people it eats. I mean, sure, we also can get hurt by the food animals and the like but we usually are not terribly afraid of them afterwards. And from the point of view of the thing Derry should be a farm of cattle or swine but rather a field of wheat or corn, ripe for the taking. You don't battle your food, nor are you angry or afraid of it...

Not being afraid of IT is one thing. Hurting it requires a child like belief that what you are doing can hurt IT. 

You have to believe a silver bullet can hurt IT. You have to believe a Ritual of Chud is the only way to kill it. 

IT never intended for its ability to manifest fear through the power of people believing what they are seeing could be used against IT. That last what horrified IT. Not only were these kids not a afraid. They actually worked out a way to hurt IT. And there were 7 people who could do it and gang up on him so it couldn't just pick them off one by one. 

IT realized there was a possibility that IT's food might be able to kill it and that threatened IT's entire existence. To the point where IT went back in hiding after nearly getting killed and gave the kids perfect lives far away from Derry, and made sure they couldn't have children. It was a one in a million scenario where the right 7 kids were guided by Gan and the Turtle and worked out how to use their friendship and belief into killing it..

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