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It: Chapter Two Trailer Promises Terrifying Showdown

The Losers' Club may be all grown up, but that doesn't mean they can't float. 

The long-awaited trailer for It: Chapter Two was released today, and it looks like an even more brutal exercise in nerve-jangling terror than Chapter One, which scared the pants off of moviegoers in 2017.

Before we dig in to the new spot, a brief refresher: the two movies adapt Stephen King's masterful 1986 novel It, which jumps back and forth between two time periods. In the summer of 1958, a group of seven outcast youngsters — who come to self-deprecatingly label themselves "The Losers' Club" — become aware of a supernatural menace plaguing their small town of Derry, Maine. It's an ancient, evil entity which appears most often in the form of Pennywise, the Dancing Clown, although it can take virtually any shape it desires. 

As the kids research the town's history, it becomes apparent that the entity resurfaces every 27 years, always coinciding with periods of extreme discord and violence in Derry — along with the disappearances of several of the town's children, who are nothing more than food for the shape-shifting beast. The Losers' Club forces Pennywise into a confrontation in which they manage to defeat it, but not kill it — driving it back to its lair to recuperate, and stew in anger over its defeat, for another 27 years.

When the cycle begins again, the Losers ("Stuttering Bill" Denbrough, Richie Tozier, Eddie Kaspbrak, Stan Uris, Ben Hanscom, Mike Hanlon, and Beverly Marsh) are all successful adults who have moved away from Derry and mysteriously forgotten the events of that horrible summer. Well, except one: Mike, who has become the town librarian and who calls the other six back to Derry to finish the job of ending Pennywise's reign of terror. 

For their two-film adaptation, director Andy Muschietti and screenwriter Gary Dauberman chose to streamline the narrative; Chapter One focused on the Losers' battle with Pennywise as children (with the time period transposed to 1989), while Chapter Two will pick up after the killer clown's 27-year dormancy (and will therefore take place in 2017). As it turns out, the adult Losers (with their rational adult brains) are perhaps even more poorly-equipped to deal with Pennywise's mind-shredding assaults than they were as kids — as evidenced by the fact that one of their number is conspicuously missing.

The spot opens with a lovely shot of picturesque Derry, as we hear Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) speaking in voiceover. "Something happens to you when you leave this town," he says, as we see the younger versions of Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) and Beverly (Sophia Lillis) cruising away on Bill's bike after the their childhood confrontation with Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård). "The farther away you are, the hazier it all gets. But me... I never left. I remember all of it."

A series of Missing posters featuring the faces of young children are seen plastered around the town, and we hear the faint echo of Pennywise's sinister laugh as the spot takes us below the streets of Derry to the sewers... which allow the beast to roam freely, stalking its prey. A giant torrent of water (visually reminiscent of the massive gush of blood that pours forth from that elevator in the famous trailer for The Shining) comes straight at the camera — and then, we see that a young boy is bobbing around in there, shouting for help. Unfortunately, there's only one party around to hear him, and he's not there to render aid.

Next, we see the adult Losers seated in a Chinese restaurant, toasting themselves and their reunion... all of them except for Stan. Although it's not alluded to in the trailer, this implies that the most rational of the Losers decided to take the same way out that the character did in King's novel, wherein he promptly committed suicide after receiving Mike's call to return to Derry.

"We made an oath," Mike tells them, as intercut scenes from the first film illustrate his statement. Young Bill's words come creeping over the soundtrack: "S-swear," he stutters, "if it isn't dead... if it ever comes back... we'll come back, too." We see the faces of Chapter One's young cast juxtaposed with those of their adult counterparts, and here, we must point out that if there has ever been a more spot-on job done by a casting department in the history of film, we haven't seen it. 

We then return to the restaurant, where Mike tells the Losers that they failed to stop Pennywise. "The clown," gasps Beverly (Jessica Chastain), as if remembering for the first time just what they faced as kids (which she probably is). We're then transported to a lively county fair, where the adult Bill (James McAvoy) is frantically pursuing a young boy through a hall of mirrors.

The youngster calls out to Bill, who just can't seem to negotiate the confusing maze. As they finally reach each other — separated by a clear pane of glass — Pennywise makes its appearance, dragging its horrifyingly long tongue over another sheet of glass which stands between it and the boy. "Please," Bill begs it, as its face begins to change and the boy begins to shriek in abject terror. In a panic, Bill kicks at the glass for all he's worth — and then, we cut away.

The spot then gives us a series of intercut scenes: the adult Henry Bowers, the Losers' sadistic bully from the first film, laughing at a red balloon floating by outside as he's dragged through the halls of a mental institution; Bill, alone in a thick forest at night; hundreds of red balloons, drifting lazily along beneath a bridge. Throughout, we hear the ragged voice of Pennywise in voiceover. "For 27 years," it croaks, "I dreamt of you. I craaaaved you... I've missed you!"

"We need to finish it for good," Mike's narration intones, as we get a few hints of the Losers' initial solo encounters with Pennywise upon their return to Derry: Bill sprinting through the fairgrounds, Richie (Bill Hader) watching as Pennywise glides over the town's park using a bundle of balloons, and Beverly revisiting her childhood home, where she'll have a horrifying encounter with the seemingly kindly old woman who now lives there (as seen in the preview footage released in May).

A series of lightning-quick, profoundly disturbing images (including a reappearance by Georgie, Bill's doomed little brother) bring the spot hurtling to a close, but not before we get one final, blood-curdling shot: of Pennywise, sans clown costume, his makeup a streaked and smeared mess, letting loose with the single most chilling laugh we have ever heard.

Our assessment: It: Chapter Two is not messing around. Skarsgård, who delivered one of the scariest performances in recent memory in Chapter One, appears to have cranked the terror up to 11 for Chapter Two (if that last shot doesn't make your hair stand on end, then you probably don't have hair). The adult Losers — which also include Jay Ryan as Ben, James Ransone as Eddie, and Andy Bean as Stan — look absolutely amazing, and as fans of King's novel know, they'll be facing a much angrier Pennywise who isn't just out for a meal, but rather their sanity, their souls, and then their blood.

We feel confident in saying that It: Chapter One will not retain the all-time horror box office crown for much longer. Get ready to head to the theater when Chapter Two drops on September 6, but be warned: they all float down there. And when you're down there with them, you'll float, too.