The Losers’ Club is back, and so is Pennywise the Clown in It Chapter Two. The long-awaited trailer for the horror sequel just arrived, and it does not disappoint. Rather than a traditional trailer, we get an extended (although clearly trimmed-down) scene, followed by a few quick, exciting, creepy shots. The marketing department doesn’t have to give away too much – they know the hype is real, and that audiences will happily return to the haunted town of Derry, Maine. Still, there’s plenty to latch onto here, and that’s where our It Chapter Two trailer breakdown comes in handy.
The trailer opens with a doorbell ringing, giving way to a scene that unfolds almost identically to the way it takes place in Stephen King’s novel. Adult Bev Marsh (Jessica Chastain), back in Derry, returns to her old home looking for her father. You’ll notice the name on the door clearly says MARSH, yet her father isn’t the one who answers the door. Instead, an old woman bathed in shadow greets Bev. We don’t see it here, but in King’s novel, the old lady tells Bev that her father died, and that her name is Mrs. Kersh. At this point, the novel Bev goes to point out MARSH is still on the door, only to see it has transformed to KERSH. She shrugs it off, thinking her mind was playing tricks on her. In the trailer, Bev mentions that she used to live in this house, and in case the audience hasn’t caught on to what trailer this is, we get a quick flash of the O.G. Bev, played by Sophia Lillis.
Mrs. Kersh invites Bev in – she’s still shrouded in shadow, but seems pleasant enough. Major kudos to Checco Varese for giving this scene an ominous, hazy vibe long before the creepy stuff even begins. Bev inherently knows something is wrong with what’s happening here, and the visual aesthetic of the scene perfectly reflects her mental state. Everything seems normal, but an undercurrent of darkness lurks.
While Mrs. Kersh goes off to make some tea, Bev digs around in her old room, and finds the postcard a lovestruck Ben Hanscom sent her 27 years ago. Bev originally thought her crush Bill Denbrough sent it to her, but at the end of It, she realized it was Ben. Will she still remember that as an adult? Or has she gone back to thinking it’s Bill?
While Bev is getting all gushy about the postcard, the camera slowly swings around to reveal Mrs. Kersh is watching her from a distance. Mrs. Kersh then begins twitching inhumanly, giving us all the creeps in the process. One key detail to note here: the bruises on Bev’s arm. In King’s novel, and presumably this film, Bev – who grew up with an abusive father – has now married an abusive man named Tom. Tom violently attacks her when she tells him she’s returning to Derry.
Sitting down for tea with Mrs. Kersh, Bev notices a ring of flies on the window – shades of The Amityville Horror, and yet another indication that something is very wrong here (in case the twitchy old lady didn’t give that away).
Mrs. Kersh stops being polite, and starts acting creepy when she tells Bev, “You know what they say about Derry, no one who dies here every really dies!” It’s an odd thing to say, and I’m living for Chastian’s puzzled reaction shots. I also particularly love the way director Andy Muschietti holds the moment, letting a long, very uncomfortable silence play out as Mrs. Kersh flashes an unsettling, frozen grin.
After breaking the silence, Mrs. Kersh scratches at her chest, revealing some rotted skin the process. Starting to get the feeling there’s something weird about this old lady! (Get the hell out of there, Bev.)
Rather than flee, Bev begins looking at photos while Mrs. Kersh goes to get cookies. This leads to the creepiest shot in the whole trailer – the camera fixed on Chastain’s face while Mrs. Kersh – who is clearly, and suddenly, nude for some reason – peeks out of the darkness.
Mrs. Kersh begins talking about her father – pronouncing it as fadder, which is taken directly from King’s book. And here Bev catches a photo of Mrs. Kersh’s dear old dad, who is none other than Pennywise the Clown. Or rather, Bill Skarsgård‘s face badly photoshopped into a sepia image. I’ll cut the movie a little slack here, since the photo isn’t supposed to be real, but rather a terrifying hallucination brought on by Pennywise. But still, they probably could’ve done a better job creating this image.
Any thought of that image quickly evaporates, though, because we see a nude, long-limbed Mrs. Kersh twitching/dancing through a doorway behind Bev. It’s a strange, unsettling shot, and I once again commend Muschietti for holding it – not resorting to quick cuts, but rather letting the horror unfold in the background.
The rouse is over – “Mrs. Kersh” is done playing around, and comes charging out at a terrified Bev. This differs from the book – Bev catches on to everything while drinking tea, because she realizes she’s not drinking tea at all, but shit water from the sewer (how pleasant!). The miniseries adaptation changed this to a cup of blood, probably because they didn’t want to have the whole “shit water” thing on TV.
From here, things launch into more “traditional trailer” mode. We get a look at the adult Losers – Isaiah Mustafa as Mike, Bill Hader as Richie, James McAvoy as Bill, Chastain again as Bev, and Jay Ryan as Ben. The Losers look into a window and see themselves reflected back as kids. You’ll notice something particularly telling here: only five of the seven Losers are there as adults, but in the reflection, all seven are present – the missing members being Stan and Eddie. Why aren’t they there as adults? What could it mean? (Note: I know what it means, but I’m not saying to avoid spoilers for those you haven’t read the book.)
A shot of the Losers wandering through what looks like a completely deserted Derry. This likely comes near the end of the film, although there’s a huge storm raging during this particularly scene in the book – if it is what I think it is, I mean.
The first time the adult Losers’ Club reunites is at a Chinese food restaurant called Jade of the Orient, scene here. Adult Eddie (James Ransone) is there, but still no Stan. What gives? Hmm…
Out on the street, Bill catches a glimpse of what appears to be his dead brother Georgie calling him from a storm drain. Of course, it’s not Georgie, but Pennywise, taunting him. Another great shot from Checco Varese here – the way the face of “Georgie” is completely obscured by darkness is particularly haunting.
The Losers at happier times. I’m curious to see how much of the young Losers the sequel uses. King’s novel is constantly cutting between the past and the present, but 2017’s It didn’t work that way, so it’ll be interesting to see how this element plays out here.
The adult Losers venture into the sewers once again. One big change from the source material here: Mike is with them. In King’s book, Mike is severely injured and unable to go back into the sewer with his pals. I like this change – cutting Mike out of the final action always felt like a mistake to me, and I’m happy to see him involved here.
Richie spots something terrifying. Once again, Muschietti uses background elements to enhance the creepiness – all these Derry residents stand perfectly still, as if frozen, while Richie is reacting to something.
That something is Pennywise himself, floating off of a giant Paul Bunyan statue with balloons. In the novel, the Bunyan statue actually comes to life and tries to kill Richie, but I have a feeling that’s not going to happen here. Call it a hunch.
More of those damn balloons. Thousands of them, in fact. All underneath a bridge. This is likely from a scene in which a gay man named Adrian Mellon (to be played by Xavier Dolan) is attacked by local homophobes and tossed off a bridge. After he hits the water, Pennywise comes out and takes a big bite out of his flesh. At which point Mellon’s lover Don Haggerty spots thousands and thousands of balloons underneath the bridge.
Two more Pennywise moments, back to back. One has the gravity-defying clown tormenting the young Mike; the other has a disguised Pennywise revealing his true form. I know the book backwards and forwards, and I can’t imagine where these two moments fit in. Which mean they’re likely new creations for the film. It’s worth noting that while taunting Mike, Pennywise appears to be in a burned-out building, and as we learned in the first movie, Mike’s parents died in a fire. Is he visiting the ruins of his old house? Maybe. But this structure also looks like a factory – too large to be a residential home. The setting of the second image looks particularly old-timey, with a kerosine lamp. Maybe this is a flashback to Pennywise’s earlier days – something King hints at several times in the book.
A carnival! A perfect setting for a killer clown. There is a kind-of-carnival in the book, taking place during a yearly celebration called Canal Days in Derry. That only plays a very small part of the story, but a later shot in the trailer shows Bill sprinting through the same carnival grounds during the day (see below), suggesting it has a bigger role to play here.
Bev and Bill clearly still have the hots for each other. Poor Ben. Also, poor Bill’s wife, Audra, who is played in the film by Jess Weixler.
A blood bath – literally. This looks to be Jessica Chastain, and that would fit with a story the actress told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show: “It might be a spoiler, but in the movie there’s a scene…someone said on set that it’s the most blood that’s ever been in a horror film…in a scene. The next day I was pulling blood out of my eyeballs.” Is this a recreation of the bathroom scene from the first film, in which a young Bev gets splattered with blood from a drain?
The Losers wander the sewers. Eddie screams at something off camera. It’s clear that this reunion isn’t going over so well. There are a lot of scenes from the climax of the film in this trailer, which I find particularly interesting. Usually that sort of stuff is kept out of the marketing. Then again, if you haven’t read the book, you wouldn’t know all of this happens at the very end. So…uh…spoilers, I guess.
A young girl with a significant bruise on her cheek wanders under some bleachers, chasing what appears to be a firefly. In the book, there’s a chapter in which an abused child runs away from his stepfather, only to fall victim to It. I wonder if that’s the scenario It Chapter Two is drawing on here.
Finally, Pennywise himself appears in a close-up, catching the firefly and flashing his evil grin. “Hello!” he says to the young girl. And goodbye.
It Chapter Two opens September 6.
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