Stephen King’s horror legacy


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Britni Dunn

World-renowned author Stephen King recently released his newest novel, “The Institute.” The book focuses on a young boy who is kidnapped and taken to an institute with other children who have telepathic abilities. This novel is comparable to his 1980 hit “Firestarter,” about a young girl with telepathic/telekinetic abilities—these books are 39 years apart, which begs the question, how has King managed to stay relevant as a novelist for so long.

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King’s first successful novel, “Carrie,” was published in 1973 with a film made in 1976 and 2013. This is just one example of King’s work transcending generations and allowing people to be frightened for over four decades by the same story.

Even more relevant is King’s classic masterpiece “It.” The book is over 1,000 pages and has terrified reader since 1986. The 1990 miniseries “It” made Tim Curry’s Pennywise the Dancing Clown  horrifyingly recognizable in pop culture. The series was remade into  a two-part movie, with “It” released in 2017 and generating a new wave of interest in the novel and concept as a whole. “It Chapter Two” was released in September, an end to the saga. The tale has become one of the most notable horror stories of all time, which is why it was remade for a new generation’s enjoyment.

King’s books are often made into films or television shows to be viewed by a larger audience, which is probably why he has made it so deeply into mainstream media. He wrote the famous novel, “The Shining,” which became one of the most recognizable stories of all time. It became a movie that has been used in media to this day, with commercialization of phrases and images of the movie and book.

The world of horror and mystery would not be the same without the work of King, a driving force in the industry. Anyone who can last in the writing world for half a century is worth noting, and King is the shining example of an author staying relevant. As Halloween approaches, people can expect to see plenty of King themed costumes, parties, and references to his classics. His works are a spooky season staple and are sure to be for years to come.