I have been errant in turning in my article this week because I have been frankly too terrified to relive my viewing of the big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s It. Matters were certainly exacerbated by my pre-screening ingestion of an entire 100 mg package of Mirth Control Capsylls, a psychedelic gastrointestinal rollercoaster that hijacked every aspect of my perception, screaming clown faces replaying in my mind every five seconds as I lay in bed lapsing in and out of hallucinogenic reality.
During the film, I kept trying to pretend I was OK.
It’s just a movie, I told myself, and you’re an adult.
Two hours earlier, I had taken 12 capsules every five minutes while eating homemade enchiladas. The faux-Mexi THC riot erupting inside me provided a temporary distraction from howling shapeshifting clowns growing dripping spider arms while attacking young children.
Jesus, fuck, I wrote as a clown, played by the son of Stellan Skarsgard, bit the arm off a small boy in the first five minutes of the movie.
It tells the story of the bloody vanished boy’s friends solving the mystery of his disappearance—with each young sleuth subsequently visited by a shrieking, jittery-ass clown that zooms toward their faces with rows of sharp gleaming teeth.
Every five fucking minutes of this movie this fucking CGI clown jumps out racing at your face.
Earlier in my apartment with the Mirth capsules soaring through my bloodstream, I had inadvertently danced in new underwear to the entirety of Girl Talk’s All Day. On my way to the theater, the overwhelming intoxication caused me to “shoulder” buildings—regarding columns of a corporate banks like an inconsiderate subway riders.
But sitting in a cooled theater watching teenagers suffer nervous breakdowns in repeated scenes of physical and psychological torture? The goofy sunniness of the Mirth overdose turned sour. I took slow breaks to the bathroom, returning to my seat like it was a chore.
As a horror movie, It is effective.
These last few days, I kept picturing this fucking clown popping up behind bushes. I reach down to throw something in the garbage and imagine some fucking clown’s hand popping out to grab me.
A drug like THC relies heavily on the user’s openness to shifts in mental perspectives. But the purpose of a horror movie is to dominate perception—to make its reality yours. Psycho made women afraid to shower. Jaws made people avoid oceans. Nightmare on Elm Street made teenagers fearful of sleep. Now, this fucking clown’s hand shooting out of my closet ruins my fucking week.
The Mirth overdose opened me up to the possibility of other realities. But letting in the imagery of It wasted the opportunity for enlightenment—for the end goal of a horror movie is to control perception. Which is why this column will hesitate to write about horror movies in the future; life is too short for fake nightmares.