Okay kiddies, Uncle Stephen has a little something to share with us, and the Psycho Drive-In All-Stars had some things to say about it. Here’s our first look at the new film adaptation of Stephen King’s IT! Another remake?! How dare they ruin a classic! My childhood is retroactively ruined. Etc etc. Just kidding. My enjoyment of the original and the source material is casual at best, which makes me ideal to review this trailer. I have no expectations. I have no fondness to be bruised. So let me go ahead and get my gripes down first. 1) Georgie bonking his head on the road block barrier. Maybe that plays better in context. Or maybe the writers wanted to make me chuckle. You decide. 2) The trailer ending with a generic monster rush/loud noise. I was literally hoping it would end without a big noise scare. Not a bad note so much as a curious one is the lack of adult versions in the trailer. This makes me wonder if they are doing a massive retelling or if this will be a two-part movie. Or perhaps they will leave it open ended and save the adult story for a potential sequel? Of course, this may have been addressed already as I haven’t really followed the news updates. I know some people have (or will soon) have issues with Pennywise’s design. I think it’s a nice update for the character. When I first heard about this being remade, I was completely indifferent. Now I can say I’m mildly interested and fairly sure it will be a decent popcorn movie, regardless of how close it follows the book. — Brooke Brewer Clowns. I’ve written a few times about my utter disdain for those hellish, abominable creatures with their false painted faces hiding evil and carnage unimaginable to any sane mind but, with the release of the new teaser trailer for IT, I find myself needing to reiterate the terror lurking behind every funhouse door. For those of you who have read the book or seen the original television miniseries featuring Tim Curry as the terrifying Pennywise, you’ve probably already developed some severe coulrophobia or, at the very least, learned to avoid anyone wearing floppy shoes or carrying balloons. I’m not much of a fan of remakes or reboots or reimaginings or any other regurgitated dreck but the new IT looks more and more like the movie that might restore my faith in Hollywood do-overs. From the articles and information already released, we know the movie is meant to be part of a “duology” with the first installment coming in September of this year. The movie(s) aim to tell the story in a more chronological fashion than the book and miniseries did by starting us off with the kids battling the terror that stalks Derry, Maine only to have them return as adults in a second movie to finish what they had started. We’ve seen quite a few stills of the new Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) and, from all accounts, he has the potential to be every bit as frightening, if not more so than Curry’s portrayal. That said, the new trailer shows us poor Georgie, his paper boat drifting down the rain flooded streets of Derry outside his home until its caught in an unnatural current and sucked into a sewer grate where everyone’s favorite malevolent clown is waiting. The scenes skip around, showing a town slowly descending into a panic as the core group of characters are menaced by the demonic Pennywise and his horrific mind tricks. From drifting phantom red balloons to pipes bursting in showers of thick sludge and what I can only imagine will be a healthy dose of blood and gore, the scene set is one of a dusty, dwindling small town on the verge of utter annihilation. Towards the end of the trailer we meet little Georgie yet again, still wearing his yellow rain slicker and hat standing in the middle of the sewer reminding his brother Bill that “we all float” while Pennywise creeps up from the dark waters at his feet. I love the book and the original miniseries. The current incarnation appears to have been updated some, naturally, to help the story flow more in line with modern times. Instead of being set in the 60s, it appears to be somewhere in the mid-80s which will translate well once they bring the second half to life later down the road. Despite the wild fanboy love we all have for chainsaw armed Ash Williams (The Evil Dead) or the quad-barrel shotgun wielding Reggie (Phantasm), the geriatric action hero is a dangerous trope to play with in horror. If the story were set in the 60s – as Stephen King wrote it – with Bill and the Losers Club kids as middle school-aged monster slayers, pitting them against the ageless supernatural evil of Pennywise in the modern age, as most of them are pushing 65 would be laughable. The update works well, though, and not just because it will keep our heroes out of the nursing home in the follow up in the 2020’s. Pennywise is everything I read in the novel. His yellow eyes and red hair, the darkly menacing aura surrounding what should otherwise be a symbol of pure childhood joy… he’s the sort of quick, demonic terror that first filled me with nightmares when I read the story. Between the characterization, which looks amazing not just with the clown but the kids as well, and the overall atmosphere and imagery brought to life in the preview, I found myself glued to my phone screen. Derry is iconic. It’s that typical 80s small town whose glory days were long ago and a struggle is happening between its Americana roots and a more modern future. The school and storefronts are all older facades where you’d just as soon expect to see a flag fluttering in the breeze as you would a sign reading “going out of business” and there’s this nagging feeling of change hanging in the air. The suburbs are nicer, more green and alive and maybe that’s just a trap to make us feel safe before the real tragedy finally happens. As Bill and the Losers Club ride their bikes through the streets there’s a certain unease that comes with them beyond the obvious fact that they’re battling an ancient evil that is taking children one-by-one. There isn’t that plucky sense of joy and adventure you get from the opening of Stranger Things set in the same era in a similar small town. IT will also give us one other thing that we’ve been dreaming of since the miniseries aired in the early 90s: a chance to finally see the story played out on-screen. Let’s face it, there were a lot of great Stephen King inspired miniseries from IT to The Langoliers, The Tommyknockers, Nightmares & Dreamscapes, and The Night Flier (to name a few) but none of them could adequately capture the depth and horror of the work they were based on. The stories were still great, but they just couldn’t go into enough detail to satisfy the fear-starved fans tuning in to see some of their favorites because of commercial breaks and censorship restrictions. Every last one was watered down and sanitized so as to keep viewers from being truly shocked by the frights being brought into their homes. A major motion picture won’t have those same restraints and, if this trailer is proof of what we can expect to see come September, you’d better be ready to sleep with the lights on. — Dan Lee Who is ready to be afraid of clowns again? After watching the new trailer for New Line Cinema’s remake of IT, I know two things for sure. Number one, this movie is going to be terrifying. The little time we do see of Pennywise is chilling. Bill Skarsgård is definitely not Tim Curry’s Pennywise in this film. While Curry’s Pennywise looked like a clown who had some scary moments, this new Pennywise is meant to haunt you in your dreams. I’m sure he will haunt me for at least the next week. Throw in the fact it looks like this movie will add in more of the story from the Stephen King novel then the TV series did, we have what could be a surefire horror hit. And thing number two I know, they are making the right choice in splitting this story into two movies. The first movie, the one for this trailer, will focus on the kids and the second movie will focus on the kids as adults. If IT is a hit, New Line Cinema has a guaranteed audience for the sequel. Also, I was happy to see Finn Wolfhard from Stranger Things in this trailer. I liked him in Stranger Things, I’m sure I’ll like him in this movie. But of course, since I have a fear of clowns the odds of me seeing IT are very slim. This trailer did its job, it has the internet a buzzing and me sleeping with a night light on. — Eric Muller In the event that some future Jeopardy category is dedicated to my own personal history, I’m about to give you, Dear Reader, a juicy tidbit which will be sure to earn you the coveted Daily Double. To wit: it was during the same summer that I first read Stephen King’s IT that my young body crossed that threshold from squeaky pre-pubescence to gangly, voice-cracking young manhood. This was a fact that I relayed to Mr. King himself during a chance encounter in a Florida bookstore during the mid-nineties. “Mr. King,” I said, “it seems necessary somehow that I tell you that I hit puberty while I was first reading IT all those years ago.” He studied me for a moment, probably to determine whether I was concealing some sort of homemade weapon. Then he laughed a quiet little laugh, put a gentle hand on my shoulder, looked me squarely in the eye, and said, “I’m so terribly sorry.” It’s safe to say that I am hugely invested in this adaptation. If ever a story was built to be split into a two-part movie adaptation, this is the one. It takes place in two eras. One aspect follows the adventure of a group of young adolescents facing the horror that lies under their little town. The other half of the novel finds this group reunited after nearly thirty years when they are drawn into a final conflict. Judging from this trailer and the knowledge that this is the planned first part of a two-part adaptation, it appears the screenwriters have chosen to dissect the parallel structure of the novel, focusing entirely on the childhood adventure of the self-described “Losers Club.” This will presumably save room for their adult reunion and ultimate confrontation with Pennywise in the natural sequel. This teaser begins by focusing primarily on the moment which sets the thirty-year adventure in motion: the disappearance of Bill’s little brother Georgie. The novel’s action takes place in the mid-50s and thirty years later in 1986, but it would appear that this adaptation is taking a cue from the nostalgia of Netflix’s hit Stranger Things and setting the first part of the story in the mid-80s, allowing for a modern-day thirty-year reunion in the proposed part two. It feels mildly ironic that Stranger Things, while not related in any way to the author’s work, could in itself feel like such a spawn of Stephen King’s ouvre while simultaneously serving as a stylistic influence on this adaptation of a story without which it couldn’t have existed to begin with. Maybe not ironic. More of a chicken/egg thing. I don’t know what I’m trying to say. I’ll move on. The young ensemble cast flashes across the screen quickly, but the characterizations appear to be nigh impeccable. Between the bookended fateful moments with Bill and little Georgie, we glimpse Haystack having a Red Balloon moment in his library sanctuary, Eddie puffing on his inhaler, Mike being drawn into the horror, Richie’s goofy glasses (I wonder if he’ll be doing the impressions?), and Stan doing his best to fit all the pieces together. But the characterization masterstroke lies in the update to the time period of this story and how much young 80s Bev appears to identify with Breakfast Club– and Pretty in Pink-era Molly Ringwald. Considering what I remember of her home life from the novel, this strikes me as a genius depiction and gives me the greatest infusion of hope for the overall quality of this adaptation. This story lives or dies on the strength of its characters. It’s also notable that the staging of this trailer presents the town of Derry as a driving influence of the story. King, as a writer, is at his best when he leans into his setting, and the best adaptations of his work acknowledge that tendency. Think of the hotel in Kubrick’s Shining or the prisons in Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, to name a few. Those stories wouldn’t exist without the oppression of their environments. And their adaptations reflect it. Heck, you can practically smell the grease in the diner when you watch Maximum Overdrive. Here we are drawn into the epidemic tension of a small town put on high alert. Yep. I totally just put Maximum Overdrive in a class with The Shining and Shawshank Redemption. Deal with it. And then there’s Pennywise. I don’t even know if I want to discuss Pennywise. Pennywise is just inherently scary. He’s scary in that proto-horror kind of scary that creeps in and plucks some deep bass chord in your soul whose vibrations liquefy your intestines. The thought of Pennywise can cut a shiver through me on an August afternoon. I’m pretty sure Betty White could be cast in the role and it would still be scary as hell. Tim Curry was creepy in the 90s TV miniseries, but Bill Skarsgård looks to be fucking terrifying. So, let’s see… It’s been almost thirty years since I first read the novel. I have until September to wait for the release. I think I know of an extremely fitting way to while away my upcoming summer evenings. Who knows what sort of effect it’ll have this time around? — Rick Shingler See larger image Stephen King’s It (BD) [Blu-ray] Stephen King’s It (BD) New From: $7.88 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.