It Chapter Two trailer deep dive: New horrors, old tricks, same ol' Pennywise
The new trailer for It Chapter Two has arrived... and so has Pennywise.
Along with the first film, It, the sequel from director Andy Muschietti brings the second part of Stephen King's horror novel to life on the big screen. When we meet The Losers' Club, again, they are all 27 years older. Most have left their small town of Derry behind, as well as their childhood trauma. But they made a pact: If Pennywise ever returns, they are all to finish off what they started. That time has come.
Assembling the troops
One member of The Losers' Club remained in Derry to watch for any sign of the demon clown's return. That would be Mike Hanlon (played as an adult by Isaiah Mustafa). Because of that, Mike retains his memories of what happened when they were kids, while the others slowly forgot. It's the same reason why adults in Derry never saw the nightmarish visions haunting the child victims of Pennywise.
“Something happens to you when you leave this town. The farther away the hazier it all gets,” Mike explains.
One by one, as the members of The Losers' Club step foot back in Derry, their past starts to flood back. In the original 1990 movie, Eddie described it as a “veil” draping down over his eyes. Don't worry, Pennywise is there to help jog their memories. The monster slowly targets each of them when he senses their impending reunion.
A controversial book scene
One particularly unsettling scene from King’s book is making its way into Muschietti’s film, but it's unclear how it will be received by modern audiences, given the subject matter.
Xavier Dolan plays Adrian Mellon, a gay man who is attacked with his boyfriend by a homophobic gang in Derry after an earlier altercation at a carnival. He’s then tossed over the side of the bridge by these bigots. Once in the water, he becomes another victim of Pennywise.
“It is an iconic scene in the book and one we wanted to include in the movie,” screenwriter Gary Dauberman told The Hollywood Reporter previously. “It is the first attack in present-day Derry and sets the stage for what Derry has become. It is the influence of Pennywise even while he is hibernating, and it’s pure evil what happens to Adrian. These bullies working through Pennywise was important for us to show.”
Those friggin balloons
In the book, Don, Adrian's boyfriend, witnesses the attack from Pennywise, as well as a waterfall of red balloons cascade down from the bridge above.
In Stephen King’s original story, The Losers' Club reunite back in Derry, but not before Pennywise starts slowly chipping away at each of them. Still, this is the first time they’ve all felt hopeful since the clown reemerged, so they’re celebrating each other’s company… with one chair left empty. Stanley (played as an adult by Andy Bean) is absent.
Old stomping grounds
This is where The Losers' Club used to play as kids. It’s where they joined forces against their school bullies, it’s where they swam and played, and it’s also where they faced Pennywise in the sewers. Those memories return to the surface for the group now that they’re adults.
A new man
Adulthood changed many of the Losers, including Ben (Jay Ryan), who dropped a whole lot of weight. Those puppy dog eyes confirm, though, he never lost his feelings for Beverly (Jessica Chastain).
A clown's playground
Perhaps this is the carnival where Adrian has his tragic altercation with those brutes, but it’s also where grown-up Bill (James McAvoy) has a particularly terrifying encounter with Pennywise in a Hall of Mirrors. You’ll notice the entrance to the Fun House is in the shape of a clown’s open mouth, and we know how many different forms Pennywise likes to take.
Hall of Mirrors
Ben stumbles around in the maze of mirrors, trying to get a hold of a young boy — around the same age that his brother Georgie was when he was killed by Pennywise. The terrain is uneven. The walls are warped, and the mirrors throw off our sense of balance, toying with the line between what's real and what's an illusion. During an appearance at Comic-Con's ScareDiego event on Wednesday, McAvoy described filming this scene as "like a nightmare... absolutely horrific. There was no fun in it."
History repeating itself
Bill finally finds the kid but is barred from reaching him by another surprise glass barrier. Pennywise emerges to torture both of them: Can Bill break through the glass and save the boy before the monster eats him? That would make it the second time Bill is unable to save a child from Pennywise.
Back to the house
It was at this house where germaphobe Eddie was first taunted by Pennywise's zombified form. It's where the kids later assembled to head down the hidden well in the basement to go directly in Pennywise's underground lair. It's now where the group find themselves as adults. Once again, it seems like Bill is trying to finish the job on his own, but his friends aren't about to let that happen. Eddie, however, is already sporting a flesh wound from a previous encounter.
Which door is which?
Three doors. Three possible outcomes. But there were no winners when the kids first encountered these paths in It. We imagine there won't be any winners now.
Someone else has grown up, too: Henry Bowers.
As a kid, he tormented The Losers' Club as a school bully and found himself manipulated by Pennywise. As an adult, having been tossed in the loony bin under the weight of the trauma he faced as a child, he finds himself again as the clown's puppet.
Bill and Bev are, clearly, still working out their feelings for one another as adults. But does the fact that it was Ben who wrote her that touching note when they were kids change things at all? Based on the events of the book and the 1990 movie, probably.
Watchers of the first It Chapter Two trailer know this woman very well. Mrs. Kersh is another form Pennywise takes when Bev goes to see what her old house looks like and finds it has been taken over by a new resident... or so it would seem.
This may be a spoiler if you haven't read the book or seen the 1990 film. So, if that describes you, click ahead now.
Still here? Okay, great.
There's a reason adult Stanley doesn't appear in the Chinese restaurant celebration with his old friends. It's because in the original story, Pennywise got to him first. Finding himself depressed with no apparent alternative, Stanley slits his wrists in his bathtub. A scene glimpsed in the trailer hints at the same fate for the character in this film.
"I've seen all of us dying," Bev says. "It consumes us from the inside until we don't have a choice anymore."
Ghosts of his past
Fear evolves and takes on new shapes the older a person gets, but one of Bill's fears remains the same. He finds himself in the waterlogged basement of his childhood home where an old vision returns. It's Georgie, standing above the water's surface in his yellow raincoat. In the background, standing on the steps would appear Bill's younger self.
As a child, Bev found herself hiding out in the girl's bathroom stall, only that couldn't even save her from her school tormentors pouring trash and tampons over her head. Faced with the stall again, adult Bev tries to break free as it slowly fills with what looks like blood.
The bloodiest yet
Yup, that's definitely blood.
Speaking with Conan O'Brien during Comic-Con, Chastain recalled being told on the movie's set that her scene will be the bloodiest in horror film history. How bloody? "It's 4,500 gallons of fake blood," she said. Originally, Chastain wasn't supposed to be covered head to toe in fake blood. It was only supposed to rise up to her chest, but she said, "This is our opportunity to really make something crazy. Let's do Carrie on steroids."
Pennywise loves a good mirror trick. This one involves torturing Ben by cutting open his chest. It's only in the mirror that they see the entity doing the cutting is Pennywise, hence Bev swinging fast and loose at the glass.
Down once more
This was glimpsed in the first trailer: the impact site. Pennywise's old haunting grounds — where all the kids float, too — is now vacant, but the gang finds where molten bedrock has hardened into a blast formation. It's a scene taken from King's description in the book. The only shot these folks have is to join forces. Pennywise feeds on fear, but it's their unity that It fears.
Bev is drowning... perhaps in a more metaphorical sense, but also very literally. Another Pennywise monstrosity attempts to remove Bev from the equation, bringing her down deep under the water.
Pennywise has deathbeds prepared for all members of The Losers' Club. As dramatized in the 1990 film, he appears before Bill as he goes to commemorate his brother's tombstone. In his periphery, Pennywise is digging seven graves, hoping to fill them one by one. Might this be a similar scene? Although, in the same moments from the trailer, we see someone falling upwards into the sky through a coffin-sized hole in the ground.
The face of evil
As we pointed out in the last trailer, this is not Pennywise, but one of the clown's followers who painted his face in It's likeness. The trailer ends with another haunting image of this figure as he goes to scratch his own eyes out. Henry, is that you? It does look a bit like Bill Skarsgaard, the actor who plays Pennywise, out of makeup.