Pennywise the Dancing Clown has awakened to feed on the children of Derry once again in the first trailer for the upcoming film adaptation of Stephen King‘s chilling classic IT. We’ve been waiting a long time to see if director Andy Muschietti’s version of our childhood nightmares would live up to expectations, and this trailer doesn’t disappoint.
This film has a lot to live up to. The novel (if you ignore that awkward sewer gang bang) is a goddamn masterpiece. The 4-hour made-for-TV adaptation that followed may seem a bit hokey by today’s horror standards, but for those of us that grew up watching it, IT instilled a deeply ingrained, sweat-inducing fear of numerous mundane everyday objects: Sewers, sink drains, school showers, photo albums, fortune cookies, the Für Elise piano melody, balloons, and, of course, clowns.
Georgie looks for his lost boat in the sewer drain.
The trailer opens with young Bill Denbrough making a paper boat for his little brother Georgie. Cut to Georgie outside in the rain, chasing the boat down the street until it vanishes down a storm drain. And guess what’s inside the storm drain? It’s not Tim Curry, the toothy and sadistic Bozo-esque murderer from the TV version, but rather Bill Skarsgard’s Pennywise, who wears the vintage silver clown suit from the novel.
Then we see scenes from around the town of Derry – a sign reminding residents of the 7pm curfew, a woman posting a missing persons flier on a telephone pole for Patrick Hockstetter (remember his junkyard refrigerator?) and a red balloon floating through the library which only Ben Hanscom seems to see. In the next scene, we see the Losers Club exploring the sewer, followed by the kids realizing they’re all being haunted by the same evil clown.
The abandoned house at 29 Neibolt St
That’s when we see possibly the best part of the new film – the creepy abandoned house at 29 Neibolt Street where the kids first confront IT in the novel. Several important scenes took place in the house in Stephen King’s story, but it didn’t make it into the TV version.
In the next scene the Losers Club is gathered around a slide projector in the 1980s-era version of the photo album scene. There are a few flashes of other horrific encounters building up to Georgie, standing in a flooded basement, repeating over and over to Bill, “You’ll float, too!” Then, suddenly, Pennywise emerges from the water running toward Bill in the most spine-tingling scene of the whole trailer…
Down here you’ll float too…
We don’t see enough of Pennywise in this first trailer to get an idea what to expect from Skarsgard’s performance, but the glimpses we do get have my pulse pounding. Overall the trailer looks great, and setting it in the 1980s looks like perfect decision. That period of time was a heyday for Stephen King, it’s cool again thanks to Stranger Things, and it strikes a chord for us 80s kids who still can’t get enough of the toys, movies, and beloved King stories that haunted our formative years.
What do you think of the trailer? Will IT keep you awake at night?
IT hits theaters September 8th.