Trailer Review: Stephen King’s IT (2017)

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, Stephen King’s It is coming to theaters this year!

It’s been quite a while since the first miniseries of It came out (over two decades), and I personally can’t wait to see it come back in September. The trailer brought back many of the elements of the novel and miniseries that made it so creepy, yet so interesting at the same time. For those of you that don’t know the story of It: a demon, who can mask itself as a clown, giant spider, and more, terrorizes a town, kidnapping kids like it’s going out of style. A group of young kids goes on a mission to root out this evil from their town and venture into the sewers underneath to destroy It, and when It returns to their hometown as adults, they are called to get rid of it once again. As a child, I used to have nightmares about this movie for months after I saw it for the first time, and that’s exactly what I’m hoping this remake can do come September.

My favorite scene throughout all versions of the story is when Georgie’s paper boat slips down the drain, and he comes face to face with Pennywise the clown (and demon). In the miniseries adaptation, I thought they did this scene very well. Although the idea of a clown in a gutter speaking to a boy seems completely absurd, Pennywise acts as if it’s totally normal and has a friendly conversation. The best part about this scene in the miniseries is that Georgie acts exactly as any naive kid would act in a situation like this and completely goes along with it. That’s what I find is so creepy about the story of It: this clown is a master at tricking and manipulating the children’s minds and emotions, even enough to make a sewer conversation seem commonplace. In the most recent trailer, however, this scene is a tad different, at least from what we’ve seen seen so far.

First of all, Pennywise has definitely ramped up his wardrobe and looks ten times as creepy. One thing I would have liked to see in the trailer is some dialogue from Pennywise, who was very talkative in the miniseries but barely makes any noise other than some incomprehensible screaming. I loved Tim Curry’s rendition of Pennywise in the miniseries; his voice and body language perfectly embodied a terrifying clown, so I hope that Bill Skarsgård, who now takes the role of It, can live up to our expectations. You don’t see much more of that scene, but the trailer only gets better from there.

One of the best scenes of the trailer is when the group of boys gathers together to find out where “it” lives, and suddenly their click projector starts shifting slides by itself and increases in speed to reveal Pennywise present in a family photo of one of the boys. Whether or not It was actually present in the family picture or not is irrelevant: what makes this scene so scary is that Pennywise is clearly aware of the counter-attack the boys are planning and is going to try to use whatever psychological tactics he can to defeat the gang. Another highlight of the trailer was its soundtrack, which perfectly set the tone for the type of movie that It is, and continues to ring in your head for the rest of the day. Of course the red balloon, a key image of It, returns in the trailer, which leads me to believe that the scene in the miniseries (spoiler alert!) when the balloons start popping in people’s faces and covering them in blood is bound to return. This was a great scene from the miniseries, but compared to today’s standards, was done poorly, so I hope to see a revamped version of the scene.

All in all, the trailer showed some very promising scenes and gives me hope that the movie will live up to the standards set up by the miniseries and the novel. Thanks for reading this short review of the 2017 version of Stephen King’s It, and be sure to take a look at the other articles in this issue of The Shield!

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