Let’s Take A Closer Look At That IT Trailer

There's a lot to unpack here.

After much hype, ballyhoo and one incredibly unfortunate marketing image, the first trailer for Andy Muschietti's It has arrived, and it's pretty damn effective, just as the chatter out of SXSW suggested. Sometimes hype is legit, folks!

The bigger question, of course, is whether the film will deliver on the promise of said trailer. We obviously won't know if that's the case until September (when It arrives in theaters), but - for the time being - there's no reason we can't obsessively pull apart this footage to get an idea of what did and did not make the transition from page to screen.

So, let's get floating.

First of all, for those of you who still aren't clear: It is not a complete adaptation of the Stephen King novel. This first film will cover the "childhood" portion of the book, and follows the Losers' Club as they navigate Derry during the 1980s (assuming that It is a hit, we'll get a second film somewhere up the road which will deal with the adult versions of the Losers' Club, and that'll presumably take place in modern day).

The trailer starts off much like the book: Bill Denbrough is making his kid brother, Georgie, a newspaper boat. 

Georgie is both thankful for the boat and unaware that he's about to have a very bad time.

Just like the novel (and the early '90s miniseries), Georgie's boat drifts on down the road, caught up in the rain, and eventually goes straight down...

...a sewer drain. Guess who's in that gutter?

Why, it's America's sweetheart, Kevin Bacon! Wait, that can't be right.

Ah, there he is! Pennywise The Dancing Clown (Bob Gray if ya nasty), here played by Bill Skarsgård. This Pennywise is way younger than the version we got in the 1991 miniseries, and it'll be interesting to see how that dynamic impacts the rest of the story. What's it going to look like, for instance, when a mid-20s Pennywise is facing down a roomful of 40-something Losers? Pretty interesting, I'd imagine.

Anyway, Georgie's screwed. We don't get to see that part, though. Instead, we cut to a wide establishing shot of Derry, the town where all this horror is about to go down. 

Derry, as fans of the source material know, is a haunted town (by the way, if you'd like to see more shots of Derry, a Birth.Movies.Death. reader snagged us a ton of great photos from the set last year). Something evil's living underneath it, and it's infected the entire populace. This manifests itself in strange ways.

A city-wide curfew, for instance. 

Or in an ongoing wave of missing children. The sign below tells us that Patrick Hocksetter's already been taken out (fans of the novel already know that Patrick meets a most gruesome end, but I'm not sure we're going to end up seeing that in the movie). 

Other weird things in Derry include: menacing balloons floating through the library...

...creepy goings-on inside the Derry sewer system...

...and a big-ass spooky house you absolutely, positively should not go into (by the way, another awesome Birth.Movies.Death. reader sent in photos from the spooky house set, all of which can be seen here).

Below, we've got the Losers' Club admitting to one another that, yeah, they've all seen a deranged clown creeping around the neighborhood. 

And here they are in the trailer's first big set piece, which updates the "living scrapbook" moment from King's novel (and the miniseries) to unfold via a slide projector. The kids are looking over Derry's town blueprints, trying to figure out how Pennywise operates, when something strange starts to occur.

The projector starts flipping through slides on its own...

...and eventually lands on this photo, where the slides gradually zoom in on Bill's mom to reveal...

That ain't your moms, Bill! 

In the novel (and the miniseries), all of this plays out via a scrapbook the Losers' Club are looking through. In the movie, the moment is still capped with Pennywise crossing over into our world, but...well, things play out a little differently here. Bigger, you might say.

OK, here's a really interesting shot: we see one of the kids running around the corner of the house on Neibolt street, and in the bottom left there you can see something pursuing him. That's the Leper, a character which appeared in the King novel but not in the miniseries. It's hard to make out exactly what he looks like, but lemme tell ya: I've seen photos of that thing, and it's fucking terrifying. You would not want to be chased by this Leper (or any leper, really).

The trailer then launches into a rapid series of quick cuts. This shot, of Pennywise advancing on a downed member of the Losers' Club, is particularly well-framed. Also, I'm digging whatever the hell is going on with Pennywise's fingers. 

Another interesting shot: something (or somethings) attempting to claw their way out from behind a door to get to Mike. Zombies? Burned bodies? We're not sure, but whatever it is, it's definitely unpleasant. 

Here's Bev getting soaked by a torrent of blood coming out of the sink, another moment preserved from both the novel and miniseries. Looks to me like they've altered the color on the blood to make this shot MPAA-approved, but expect that to be bright crimson in the actual film.

Here's what might be my favorite shot of the entire trailer. Something about the way the balloon floats up to reveal Pennywise's mouth just hanging open (combined with the asymmetrical framing of the shot itself) really works for me. This is a legitimately creepy shot and I'm into it.

Now we arrive at the big finale: Bill has entered a basement and encountered his now very-dead younger brother, Georgie.

Georgie's all like, "Bill, if you come down here with me, you'll float, too."

And Bill's all like: "Bro, no way."

And Georgie's all like, "YOU'LL FLOAT, TOO!" 

Oh shit, here come dat boi Pennywise.

What follows is a shot of Pennywise leaping out of the water and coming after Bill. There's a bunch of stuttery frames as he makes his way across the room, the lighting goes all wonky... it's tough to get a good screencap from that moment, but I found a particularly freaky one (above) that I think sells the moment.

There's also this single frame:

So, all in, what do I think? 

I think this is a strong trailer, I like a lot of what we're seeing here, and I'm happy that they've kept the Pennywise action to a minimum (he's there, but we don't really get a full-blown shot of him, which is precisely what I was hoping for). I remain skeptical of the film given some of the things I've heard off the record, but I can't deny that this trailer does its job very, very well. I'm looking forward to It, and hope that they'll continue showing restraint in the trailers that arrive between now and the film's September 8th release date.

What do you guys think? Catch anything I missed?

Comments