Does this new look contain a nod to one of Stephen King’s most controversial scenes?
The follow-up to It’s record-breaking first teaser is here, and there’s plenty for Stephen King fanatics to dig into.
The trailer shows off director Andy Muschietti’s decision to mix an ’80s coming-of-age story with modern horror aesthetics, with the film adapting one half of King’s 1986 landmark novel (this one focuses on the characters as kids, while a sequel is supposed to follow them as adults).
Let’s dive into the trailer for some key moments (and a warning, this contains a few spoilers for the novel):
This fictoinal Maine town of Derry is a King mainstay, and in addition to It, has served as the setting for Insomnia, Bag of Bones, Dreamcatcher, Fair Extension, and most recently, it was featured in the King Hulu drama 11/22/63. Many of King’s other books (including The Dark Tower series) refer to the town as if it were a real location, one where something is deeply wrong.
A nod to Stephen King’s most controversial moment?
Our heroes are known as The Losers’ Club, a ragtag group of kids brought together by the classic childhood glue of unpopularity. This cast, with “Loser” crossed out to read “Lover,” could potentially be a nod toward a prepubescent orgy near the end of King’s novel amongst the friends. Hopefully this is the film’s only nod to that bizarre choice, which King uses as away for the friends to regain their power and to defeat It. The random, very creepy decision to equate coming of age with monster/fear killing and sex is avoided in the ’90s version of It, and there’s almost no chance it’s going to be in this one either, though King still thinks it’s a fine scene.
The Bowers Gang
The Losers’ club comes into contact with the group of bullies, led by Henry Bowers (Nicholas Hamilton). They include Victor “Vic” Criss and Reginald “Belch” Huggins.
Bill Skarsgard finally gets to creak and simper out his first line as It: “Here, take it.” He’s got a much wispier delivery than the previous iteration of the character, played by Tim Curry, with a smoker’s growl and a carnival barker’s cadence. Will it be as iconic as Curry’s performance? Hard to say. Will it be scarier? Probably.
How long has It preyed upon children?
This trailer gives It the historical, horrific backstoy. The research done by Ben Hanscom (Jeremy Ray Taylor) uncovers a correlation between Its presence in Derry and a history of uninvestigated tragedies, mostly involving the deaths of children. Why doesn’t anyone care that there’s been a clown terrorizing this town for over a century? A good question that this movie will answer.
A knife with a heavy cost
A mulleted Henry Bowers flips a switchblade provided to him — in the novel, at least — by Pennywise. Bowers uses this knife effectively, but its power comes with the heavy price of Its influence, which haunts him until adulthood, which we may see in planned sequel/partner film to It.
“You’ll float too”
The trailer’s key moment comes with the repetition of this line. In the book, Pennywise turns an innocent question about whether his balloon is filled with helium into a threat to Georgie (played by Jackson Robert Scott in the movie) about floating dead in a sewer. The repeated line in the trailer is being spoken by Georgie, who has gone missing.
It shows its other forms
The supernatural creature isn’t just a clown, and in the trailer we get glimpses of his shape-shifting powers (see: extra arms as well as spider limbs.)