Stephen King’s It follows the structure of a slasher film, but some of the villain Pennywise’s approach complicates that description.

While Stephen Kings It Often referred to online as a slasher film, the unique approach of its villain Pennywise means the horror hit doesn’t technically fit that description. The slasher genre is a mainstay of horror anyway It Author Stephen King. Of the Friday the 13th franchise to the Scream Serials, slasher films have been frightening audiences since the late 70s.

Similarly, since his explosive debut in 1974, King has terrified readers and viewers alike carrie. As unlikely as it may seem, however, King never wrote a conventional slasher story. Some of his efforts, such as The dark halfstray near the subgenre, and he hit once Friday the 13th Jason Voorhees’ perspective novel titled “I Jason”.


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Yet despite the author’s productivity and cult status as a horror writer, King never wrote a straight-forward slasher. Perhaps because of this surprising fact, the 2017 adaptation of King’s Hit It (soon to be a TV prequel) is often cited online as one of the greatest slashers of the 2010s. However, since most of Pennywise’s victims don’t die when the villain pursues them, the film’s body count is very low and It therefore hardly counts as a conventional slasher. Pennywise’s unusual approach means he kills almost no onscreen characters after the opening scene, with a possessed Henry Bowers ending as many lives as the film’s main villain. As a result, It is heavily influenced by slasher tropes, but the 2017 hit doesn’t qualify as a full-blown slasher by itself.

A collage of slasher movie killers Ghostface, Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees

Thanks to the adaptation’s decision to ditch the source novel’s ambitious time-hopping structure, there’s an argument for it It works like a slasher. cut everything It is Maturin the Turtle to the Ritual of Chud (which is at least seen in the smaller 2019 sequel), 2017 It acts as an effective standalone story, following young victims one by one in inventive chases before being attacked by a terrifying monster. Given that description, it’s worth noting that the film fits many slasher archetypes, making it tempting to call it It an example of the horror subgenre. However, slasher films don’t just generally have larger body counts than Itbut they also usually care more about their villain than the Stephen King adaptation.

Classic slashers like Friday the 13th and Halloween show scenes from the killer’s perspective during the Scream Movies go so far as to make you a killer for the main characters themselves. Stephen King’s It misses out on this slasher movie trick, as the movie focuses more on the exploits of the Loser’s Club than Pennywise, with few sequences featuring the clown’s point of view. The Losers Club also doesn’t suffer extravagantly complex deaths (a staple of the subgenre), their killer has no motive (whereby Pennywise is a timeless ancient evil entity rather than a sentient person), and there’s no finale girls, with the group just surviving, because they can team up against the villain. So while Stephen Kings It certainly has many hallmarks of a slasher film, the adaptation does not qualify for inclusion in the subgenre.

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