It: Chapter Two trailer decoded: Hidden horrors lurk in the new teaser
The first It: Chapter Two trailer has just landed on the world and there's a lot of coulrophobia kicking in right now. Let's embrace our fear of clowns and explore the creepiest elements of the Stephen King adaptation...
It's the present day. The grown up members of The Losers Club have been summoned back to Derry, Maine, to once again face the shapeshifting evil that feeds off fear. Note there are only six of the seven.
Note the "missing" fliers on the wall and newspaper box. That's evidence Pennywise's has risen again to feed. Also notice the yellow, blue, and red fire hydrant — old-school Tim Curry Pennywise colors.
Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa) stayed behind as a watchman, and now Richie Tozier (Bill Hader), Bill Denbrough (James McAvoy), Bev Marsh (Jessica Chastain), and Ben Hanscom (Jay Ryan) have answered the call. Here, they see something unsettling...
The Way We Were
...it's their reflection in a storefront window, but the image is themselves as kids: Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben, Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie, Sophia Lillis as Bev, Jaeden Lieberher as Bill, Wyatt Oleff as Stanley, Finn Wolfhard as Richie, and Chosen Jacobs as Mike.
The name on the apartment is clearly "Marsh." You see it, right? Bev is sure she does, too. But when she finds an old woman named Mrs. Kersh living there, she assumes her eyes tricked her.
The trailer begins on a quiet note that builds to a scream: Grown-up Bev is invited inside by the kindly (seeming) old woman, who invites her to look around wherever she likes.
Bev immediately goes to an old hiding place and finds remants from decades gone, including a postcard of the town's water tower, The Standpipe, left by a secret admirer (actually Ben Hanscom). The haiku read: "Your hair is winter fire / January embers / My heart burns there too."
The elderly woman who lives in the home offers Bev tea, and the conversation gradually ratchets up the creep factor. This scene is taken directly from King's 1986 novel, luring Beverly in with a sense of normalcy before things go topsy-turvy.
From the other room, Mrs. Kersh calls out that her father joined the circus. On the wall of the living room is this image, showing a carnival proprietor who looks a lot like Pennywise. The little girl beside him seems to have the face of a man. (Looks to me like Stephen Bogaert, who played Bev's father.)
Mrs. Kersh Revealed
The old lady passes through the hallways nude behind Beverly. It's weird. It's perverse. It messes with your mind in a way similar to the naked, rotting woman in the bathtub from The Shining.
Behold, the Ravages of Age!
"Mrs. Kersh" stomps forward. We see Beverly framed between the old woman's knees, and we see her implied nude body surging toward Bev, who is horrified by whatever changes she sees in the woman's face. Pennywise attacks!
Stand By Me
From there, we cut away. (It's safe to assume, Bevery escapes this time.) We see memories of the the Losers as kids, passing over a stream that likely leads to the subterranean lair of the nameless monster.
There's a gathering a Chinese restaurant that is also lifted straight from King's novel. In the book, Pennywise manifests in the form of disturbing messages in fortune cookies.
Bill and the Sewer Grate
Grown up Bill stares long and hard at the spot where his little brother Georgie was killed by the monster decades before.
"Play With Me..."
A vision of little Georgie in his yellow rain slicker appears in the shadows, holding the paper boat Bill made for him — the one he was sailing down a rain-swollen street when he was murdered by It.
This was the site of the Losers' final confrontation with Pennywise in the first film. A carnival wagon heaped with lost toys and clothes gathered by the beast sat beneath a cloud of floating bodies. Now, the space is empty.
If he's not in his old spot, where is Pennywise? One clue comes later in the trailer, as the adult Losers venture deeper below Derry's sewer system. They find this impact site, with molten bedrock hardened in a blast formation. (Another lift straight from King's novels.)
Pennywise warps your mind. The things you see aren't always real, and can't always be percieved by others. At a local fair, Richie looks up to see something horrifying...
Bill Skarsgard's Pennywise the Dancing Clown makes his first appearance, hovering over Derry's Paul Bunyan statue as he dangles from an inverted pyramid of balloons.
Under the Bridge
A sea of red balloons rises up from the ground and gathers beneath the train bridge that spans the swampland known as The Barrens.
The clown plunges from the window of a burned-out building toward what looks like grown-up Mike. Mike's parents were killed in a house fire, perhaps deliberately set. This could also be the remains of The Black Spot, an African-American club that was destroyed by racist locals in an act of murderous arson.
This isn't the monster, but one of his minions. A human being who has painted his face and pulled at his rheumy eyes to resemble the fiend. It's hard to tell from this brief shot, but my guess is it's Teach Grant as grown-up Henry Bowers, the deranged bully who becomes an ally of the killer clown.
Just a local carnival. Nope, nothing wrong here.
Young Bev and Bill share an intimate moment. She always assumed that he was the author of the beautiful postcard haiku.
...Burns There Too
She may still believe that. Bill grew up to be a wonderful writer, after all. That old flame flares up again.
The Secret Admirer
But the actual author of the haiku was Ben Hanscom. The buried affections that resurface upon their return to Derry add an emotional dimension to the story beyond the horror.
Drowning in Blood
This looks like Bev, who was blasted with blood from her bathroom sink in the original movie. But the yellow and green tile doesn't match her apartment bathroom. It is familiar, however. It's the bathroom from their school.
The Losers link arms in the lair of the unspeakable. They have fought this creature before, but last time pays for all. We'll learn more as the horror saga nears on Sept. 6.