What does the success of IT mean for the future of horror films?
The success of IT is nothing short of phenomenol. Worldwide box office gross is currently sitting at approximately $371,000,000. It’s natural that this will have a ripple effect in Hollywood over the next few years. Let’s take a look at the impact this will have on the future of horror film-making and beyond.
1 – Mainstream horror goes up a notch
Nostalgia helped drive up the number but New Line took a gamble and didn’t soften the edges for the film. Keeping it at an adult classification and matching it with a modest budget gave the film a wider reach.
This tactic worked similarly with Deadpool, and seeing the success of an R-rated superhero film littered with profanity opened the floodgates for filmmakers to let their freak flag fly. And we as an audience are all the better for it.
Even prior to the release of IT, horror has had another solid contender this year with Annabelle:Creation – another addition to The Conjuring universe, surpassing the gross of the original and pushing the Conjuring franchise to a billion dollar franchise. The desire is evident that the movie-going public loves a scare if done with care and precision.
2 – More Stephen King Adaptations
It’s been a bumper year for Stephen King. With the success of IT and well… the release of The Dark Tower, King’s presence has indeed been reestablished in the film and TV world.
King’s novels are notoriously tricky to adapt, and have a very low success rate. IT has shown that by staying relatively true to the source material and playing it straight is a winning formula.
Perhaps remakes of not so favoured films based on King’s works will be revisited. Think Morgan Freeman didn’t give a fine performance in Dreamcatcher? You might get another chance to see it reimagined. Was The Green Mile a little long for your liking? Maybe Netflix will turn it into a 10 part series. Who knows?
Even though The Dark Tower was not received well critically, the plan is to flesh out the story with a miniseries. No further word as of yet but at time of writing The Dark Tower is still open for business. A television adaptation of King’s Castle Rock is set of release in 2018.
3 – More Pennywise.
The end credits of IT solidified the fact that a sequel is on its way. With the first film focused solely on the losers club as teens, the second film will pick up the story 27 years later with the kids from Derry all grown up.
With a bigger budget and more eyes on the prize, the casting could be magnificent. The director Andy Muschietti has expressed his wishes for Jessica Chastain or Amy Adams to step into the role of Beverley Marsh. Who knows, maybe Matthew McConoughey can prove he can deliver in a King adaptation if the crew around him are on the same wave length.
The story details that Pennywise has been around for hundreds if not thousands of years. Going by this logic, if New Line puts their money where their mouth is it could very well continue to be a very lucrative franchise.
Whatever happens, I’m clown for it.
The success of IT means there won’t be a struggle to find a solid horror film outside of the month of Halloween. If you’re any kind of horror buff this will be the sound of sweet music to your ears.
Is IT the best horror movie of the past decade? No. Is it the best adaptation of Stephen King? Also no. But heck it comes close.
One piece of advice for Hollywood…don’t turn this into another found footage genre. Let’s keep this interesting.
You can read a full review of IT here.