Rediscover: It

The latest adaptation of Stephen King's It (1986) set a new box office record for an R-rated horror film. As of October 10, It has earned more than $307 million in the U.S. and $606 million worldwide, and garnered critical praise. All of that puts plenty of pressure on the promised conclusion to this duology coming in 2019, which, like the 1990 television miniseries, splits the story between child and adult characters battling an evil, shape-shifting predator in Derry, Maine, that emerges at regular intervals to feed on children. The most common form It takes is Pennywise the clown, played to great effect by Tim Curry in the miniseries and by Bill Skarsgård in the film. A group of outcast 11-year-olds band together to defeat the creature, or so they think, until It reappears decades later. In the novel and miniseries, these time periods are split between the 1950s and 1980s. The film places the childhood sequence in the '80s, with its sequel set in the modern day.

King's work has a long history of film and TV adaptations--some much better than others. After the disappointing release of The Dark Tower this summer, which by all accounts bungled King's epic series (and had a PG-13 rating), It shows how skilled filmmakers can still breathe new life into the horror master's best works. On September 5, Scribner released a movie tie-in edition of It ($19.99, 9781501175466). --Tobias Mutter

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