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Just a friendly reminder that you may want to follow: watch the trailer with the lights on (and your friends surrounding). To describe IT trailer in short would be “it’s appropriately terrifying”.
IT, a horror movie based on Stephen King’s novel, tells the story of a group of children in a town of Maine gathering together to find out the reason of missing people in their neighborhood. Their searching brings them in direct conflict with Pennywise, a clown who captures children and devours them.
The book was first brought to the screen in 1990 in a TV mini-series that starred Tim Curry as the horrifying villain. Both have undoubtedly contributed to a rise in coulrophobia.
In this September, the new adaptation appears to double down on the circus horror. IT trailer immediately offers a sense of foreboding. Dark skies, a rainstorm and a muted color palette all suggest something ominous lurking around. Even if you know what’s coming, it’s still terrifying when Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) pop up from the sewers. There’s always tension in the sustained string chords of the soundtrack, and it imbues everything with suspense and darkness. The most frightening moment comes as a malfunctioning slide projector starts to advance itself.
The first teaser for IT released in March has spooked its way into a record for the most views online in just 24 hours with 197 million views across platforms. Even after the release of a new trailer in July, the original teaser continues to get more, and it’s not as if we haven’t seen the story before. A red balloon, a monstrous circus freak and a sewer drain, these are the symbols that the IT trailer deploys to spine-chilling effect, and a quick recall of King’s novel and the 1990 mini-series.
IT trailer’s centerpiece is instructive because the scene deviates from the novel. A slide projector starts to advance on its own. The score builds, the screams increase, and Pennywise’s face, partly obscured appears. By staging the reveal of the villain at a big moment of deviation from IT movie’s source material, the trailer is wisely playing to all audiences: confirming to novices that a clown is, indeed, the source of all this terror, but also signaling that IT will retell a familiar story in a distinct, innovative way from its predecessors.
In the recent trailer, Pennywise’s first entrance simply whets the appetite. A small boy chasing a paper boat peers into a storm drain, where, a clown with a devious grin pops up from the shadows; a classic jump-scare quickly introduces fear into the trailer. That tiny glimpse of Pennywise is just enough to make uninitiated viewers want to know what they just saw, while hinting to IT fans what they’re about to see more of. Pennywise’s final appearance in the trailer hits a high note. In a flooded basement, the demented clown peeks his head above the water, then, he rushes toward the camera as if he’s about to break through the screen.
That’s exactly the kind of visceral horror that makes audiences want to see more in IT.