We’re a little late with our review of the blockbuster film “It,” but, yes, it is a good horror film. Bill Skarsgard probably deserves award consideration for his portrayal of Pennywise the clown, and the actors who play the children are all good. The film does an excellent job of evoking childhood fears, not just of clowns and death but also bullying and social ostracism. Setting the film in 1989, as opposed to the novel’s 1959, is a masterstroke because it brings a large portion of the audience back in time; the New Kids on the Block references are priceless! At the end of the day, the film is not as scary as “The Shining” or as profound as “Stand by Me,” but it is nevertheless a well-done horror film that delivers the gory goods. When the little boy meets the clown at the beginning, it is particularly terrifying and gory. If you like Stephen King, horror, and creepy clowns, don’t miss “It”!
Our other staff writer underestimated how good this film is. The film adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark tower is a towering masterpiece. Elba is awesome as the gunslinger and takes the role seriously. Also, he does some good dead-pan humor. He plays a fantasy western version of a Knights Templar. His guns were ‘forged from Exacalibur’.
McConaughey is also strong as the man in black, who can be thought of as the false prophet in a Biblical sense. The man in black bears a striking resemblance to the Randall Flagg character in the Stand, another apocalyptic Stephen King masterpiece. Unlike other modern hits like Harry Potter, this movie the Dark Tower warns against the use of occultist magic.
The most obvious occult symbols in the film are the dark tower itself (Tower of Babel/ WTC parallels are obvious from the NYC skyline shots being ominously shown over and over again), and the portal itself (CERN parallels). Just as in the stories Firestarter, there are tons of insinuations to the MK Ultra program (unveiled by the Church committee in the 70s in Congress and the victims were paid reparations), in which the government takes kids who have psychic abilities and abuses them and does experiments on them. In the Dark Tower the government keeps trying to seize the kid character in the film to do just that.
This movie is considered a fantasy. But it is not. It is Stephen King’s coded way of warning us of several things:
a) magic and occultism are dangerous and help to bring about the Anti-Christ (the Man in Black), by opening portals for demons to enter our world through.
b) the government kidnaps and experiments on people who are psychic (Firestarter with Drew Berrymore this occurs throughout the film, also in this film they try and get the kid for his psychic abilities, and its done through mental health or foster care)
c) The falling and rebuilding of the World Trade Center has some sort of strong connection to the occult, and King quite possibly predicted the fall of the Twin Towers in his first volume from 1982.
King started writing in the early 1970’s. At that time there was a strong mistrust of government. From the Gulf of Tonkin, to the Church committee, to Cointelprolo Operation, the government had gone and lied to the public while doing some really evil things. Stephen King clearly picked up on this. Many of his works exhibit an anti government paranoia. Not just Firestarter (where George C. Scott acts super creepy almost sexual intonations towards Drew Berrymore), but in the Dead Zone the Martin Sheen character was set to become a fascist dictator set on nuking the world. Lawnmower Man had ‘the Shop’ too. Or in the Stand, where small pox virus breaks out of a government lab, killing off most of the globe’s population. Only to be saved by the ‘Hand of God’ at the end. Stephen King himself is the visionary, and much of what he warns us about is directly from the bible.
This newest film of Stephen King’s is the clearest indication and proof yet that King believes (and is right) that Christian prophecies are fulfilled beyond anything that could be considered coincidence. The fact that the book dealt with apocalyptic towers in NYC way back in 1982 is a blatant example of how human history and future has been coded into biblical prophecy, and cleverly deciphered, reinterpreted, and laid bare for keen observers of pop culture to use as a tool to heighten their intellectual awareness.
Another notable simulacra throughout the film and the book the characters say ‘I shoot with my mind not my hand’. This echoes Infowars.com slogan ‘there is a war for your mind’ just a little to closely to be coincidence. There is also a line that repeats throughout regarding virtue (or lack thereof) about ‘Having forgotten the face of your father(s)’, which likely relates to the Founding Fathers and how America has abandoned its original principles. As you watch the film see what examples you can find as a viewer in terms of occultism. They are plentiful.
So “The Dark Tower” movie from Stephen King’s great novels is finally here, so how is it? Well, it’s very entertaining. It moves quickly and has good action and special effects. Matthew McConaughey is great as Walter, the Man in Black, and Idris Elba is excellent as Roland the Gunslinger. This is a stripped-down action movie based on the books, and it works fairly well. Tom Taylor is just OK as Jake Chambers, but he’s likeable enough. The good news is that because a new story has been concocted for this movie, all of the books are still waiting to be filmed. A TV series is planned for 2018 with Elba that will attempt to adapt the books faithfully. As a result, this movie works as an appetizer for better things to come. It is a fun fantasy action thriller, and I do recommend it. Bring on the series; this movie is a good start!