Have you seen the new trailer for It? Of course you have. The recently released trailer went on to grab close to 10 million views in 24 hours and became the most trending video on YouTube. That’s hell of a lot more than Game of Thrones or anything by PewDiePie.
The trailer was definitely worth the wait and was strapped with enough jump scares and induced trauma to remind us all of the novel that pretty much ruined our childhood and made us all afraid of clowns. Stephen King’s 1986 novel was an epic, with more than 1,000 pages of everything we feared coming to life, and gave birth to one of literature’s most paralyzing entities: #Pennywise the clown.
The novel follows the members of the Losers’ Club. This includes Bill, Bev, Mike, Ben, Eddie, Richie and Stan, as they investigate a creature that shifts its form into whatever its subject’s fears happen to be. Hence why they label it as, well, #It.
From one #StephenKing fan to (hopefully) another, this new remake certainly has a lot to live up to, as the novel epitomized the very understanding of fear and anguish to the point of pop culture nostalgia. The novel was already adapted in to a 1990 mini-series starring one of the most underrated actors of all-time: Tim Curry. However, even as a mini-series, it felt like it was missing the soul of what made King’s novel the cognizant consternation that it was.
All we can hope for at this point — at least until the film’s September 8 debut — is that it becomes the #horror classic that we oh so need for this millennium. To be honest, the found footage and torture porn genre has been taking away from horror films and books. This genre is something that King has more than contributed to in his countless books and short stories.
Here are the top eight things we hope that It will get right!
8. Loads Of Stephen King References
We already got one with (I’m assuming is) the character of Eddie. He wears a t-shirt of a vintage car looking more like it’s ready to eat something than drive over it. Any Stephen King fan will see this as a reference to his 1983 novel Christine about a red Plymouth Fury possessed by evil supernatural spirits.
It’ll be fun to see the new remake sprinkle some Stephen King references here and there to keep his history alive and would serve as an exclusive tribute to his astonishing endowment to literature. It doesn’t even have to be that subtle. A nice message — “Pennywise was here” (a reference to King’s book Dreamcatcher) would suffice.
7. Focus On Pennywise
A disappointing factor of the 1990 mini-series was that there was not enough Pennywise or Tim Curry. He showed up from time to time to keep the terror breathing for the members of the Losers’ Club, but never really delved into the concept of the character as a whole. I know, I know, if DC’s Joker has taught us anything it's that less is more, but some mere inklings of a history wouldn’t hurt anyone (or maybe they would). Pennywise is an ancient entity that landed as an asteroid into what would later become the town of Derry.
He appears every other decade for a two-year period to terrorize the townspeople of Derry. Dating back to his emergence in 1715, Pennywise the Dancing Clown takes the form of whatever it would take to scare the person he chooses. From a wolf, zombie, or even missing loved ones, Pennywise has a talented knack for illusions and manipulating children. It would be interesting to see the movie go into a little bit of detail regarding the clown’s origins while still maintaining him as a puzzling predator.
6. Bill Skarsgård Has A Lot To Live Up To
I’m sure he realized this before the ink dried on his contract, but following in the footsteps of Tim Curry will be no easy feat. It is hard to see which direction he is taking his rendition of Pennywise since the trailer has kept him to a minimum and Bill Skarsgård's only real film credit belongs to the canceled Netflix series Hemlock Grove about werewolves in Pennsylvania.
Other than being the brother of True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgård, and the son of the greatest actor to come out of Sweden (Stellan Skarsgård), there’s not really a whole lot on the actor. Tim Curry was both charming and creepy at the same time. Hopefully there’s the same kind of flair in this reinterpretation of Pennywise.
5. Keep Up The Advertising
Part of the reason why we cannot stop thinking about Pennywise is the way he is cut in the new trailer. We barely get a full glimpse of the character, with either the top or bottom of his face showing and the rest obscured. If we do get a full image it is so quick it’s barely worth talking about. I haven’t gotten to the fact that we haven’t heard the new infamous Pennywise laugh yet either.
While this is frustrating at the moment, it definitely is going to be worth the wait and surprise. Keeping Superman out of the spotlight, the new Justice League trailer learned from its failings back when the Batman v. Superman trailer was released and revealed Wonder Woman’s part in the film.
4. Cary Fukunaga
I recently wrote about True Detective Season 1 and how the collaboration between director Cary Fukunaga and writer Nic Pizzolato made the series a linearly stylized and incredible treat to anyone who is a little more than keen on a good mystery. Fukunaga is one of those rare talents that comes once every so often. From his brilliant directorial debut depiction of Mexican gang violence in Sin Nombre to his costume genre adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (a book that I hated but a film that I loved)—a true testament to what kind of filmmaker he is.
So, I was as discontent as the next guy when I found out Fukunaga, who has been working on the adaptation for years, had dropped out over creative differences. Luckily, the film seems to give credit to Fukunaga for the screenplay, so maybe some of his trademarks have survived in the final cut. This is definitely something to be ecstatic about since the director is not so much interested in the gruesome nature of the subject matter — as seen in the murder investigation of True Detective — as much as he is on the characters as a whole. This is an absolute necessity since, while gore is certainly awesome to see, if we don’t care enough about the characters we’re merely just interested in seeing how they die.
3. Two Parts, Please!
Rumor has it, the second part of It is to be filmed this year. Warner Bros. must be confident enough since they don’t even know if the film will be a success yet. This is especially great to hear since King’s novel is well over a 1,000 pages and dives into each and every one of the complexities of the characters — their fears, as well as the history that created those fears. It’s great to see that the film isn’t going to cram those pages into a two-hour movie, since some great book moments would have undoubtedly been lost.
For those who do not know, part one will follow the Losers’ Club as children being victimized by Pennywise and the second part will follow them as adults forced to confront their pasts. If you somehow survive the grasps of Pennywise, I’m afraid you will not remember it since, as you get older, you begin to lose memory of the clown.
2. Keep It Emotional; It’s Scarier That Way
As said, the characters are what is going to make this movie worthwhile. If the Saw series has taught us anything — while it’s wincingly interesting to see someone’s bone protruding through their skin — without characterization we quickly move on to the next victim. Stephen King has proven the importance of character development and provided an ample amount of material. The racism that Mike faces, the abusive personal life of Bev, Eddie’s asthma, Bill’s little brother Georgie — there’s plenty of things to work with here. Hopefully, each character gets their due. Hey, speaking of Georgie:
1. That Opening Scene, Tho!
If anyone takes away anything from this trailer, that opening scene will be crazy. The trailer rightfully cuts at the perfect moment. Those who are familiar with King’s novel or the 1990 mini-series knows what happens, and this remake does not look like it will hold back one bit. The cinematography of this opening scene is absolutely stunning. Photographed by Chung-hoon Chung — known for his collaboration with legendary Korean filmmaker Park Chan-Wook on Oldboy and last year’s The Handmaiden — this cinematic approach only adds to the details of this scene. Without a doubt, the details will heighten this movie from scary to fiercely haunting.
It opens September 8. If you’ve been living under rock then check out the new trailer:
What else do you expect to see from It?