Brooke Palmer
Anthony Breznican
December 26, 2016 AT 01:46 PM EST

Hey, kids. Want to play peekaboo?

In the exclusive image above, we see Pennywise the dancing clown in his unnatural habitat: the labyrinth of the sewer system beneath the town of Derry, Maine.

In the new adaptation of Stephen King’s IT, Bill Skarsgård (Allegiant) dons the frilly suit and white face paint of this bloodthirsty jokester — just one incarnation of a shape-shifting evil that feeds on fear, misery, and the occasional child.

For more exclusive first looks, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now, or buy it here — and subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

Director Andrés Muschietti (Mama) says this monster unsettles precisely because he doesn’t lurk in the shadows. “Pennywise shows up, he’s front and center, and he does his show. He has an act,” Muschietti says. “So it’s weird all the time, and every little thing implies a further threat.” Watch out for his punchlines. They’ll knock you dead.

IT scares its way into theaters on Sept. 8.

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