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Small Details You Missed In The New It Trailer

The full trailer for It: Chapter Two debuted on July 18, 2019 — the opening day of San Diego Comic-Con 2019 — and it promises everything fans could have asked for from the conclusion to director Andy Muschietti's adaptation of Stephen King's most terrifying novel. The first installment of It focused on the portions of the book in which a group of seven young outcasts who dub themselves "The Losers' Club" come together to do battle with the evil shape-shifting entity that has plagued the small town of Derry, Maine since time immemorial — rising from its slumber every 27 years to corrupt the minds of citizens, sow discord and strife, and... well, eat children. Even terrifying monsters have gotta eat.

It: Chapter Two picks up with the Losers now adults, summoned back to Derry by librarian Mike Hanlon, the only one of their number who remained in the sleepy, sinister burg after the events of the fateful summer of 1989. The Losers' Club had managed to defeat It, driving It back to Its subterranean lair to recover in a pool of Its own strange blood... but during It's long slumber, It didn't forget the band of children that made It feel fear — that necessary ingredient that salts the meat of Its prey — for the first time. Let's take a look at some of the little details peppered throughout this titillating trailer, ones which suggest a devout and appropriate faithfulness to the flick's source material — which is, after all, one of the greatest horror novels ever written.

Something familiar about this

The spot opens with the narration of Mike, who — unlike the rest of the Losers, who forgot all about their harrowing childhood experiences upon leaving Derry — remembers every detail of their previous encounter with Pennywise, and knows exactly what they're up against. We're then transported to to the sewers (the evil entity's prime stalking ground), where a freakish torrent of water has ensnared another of It's young victims. This scene doesn't appear to be lifted from the novel — indeed, its inclusion just may have been an excuse for Muschietti to pay homage to King, with a visual reference to another film adaptation of one of the author's greatest works.

This would be The Shining, the 1980 Stanley Kubrick film for which studio Warner Bros. chose to go with a singularly unique promo spot. The trailer in question appears to be a static shot of some unassuming elevator doors, but as the film's title and credits pop up onscreen, it becomes clear that the shot isn't actually static, but filmed in very slow motion. As the doors begin to open, a massive volume of blood gushes from within — leaving even those viewers unfamiliar with King's 1977 novel just a bit shaken. This scene in the It: Chapter Two trailer is shot from a very similar perspective, and it's unlikely in the extreme that Muschietti — a lifelong fan of King — would have included it by sheer coincidence.

Someone's missing...

In King's novel, the number seven is a powerful one — a sort of mystical totem that helps to empower a group of frightened youths to take on a malevolent being from beyond time and space. When the Losers are called back to Derry, however, their chances against Pennywise are immediately dealt a blow by the fact that their number is reduced to six (which, as It notes in a chapter dedicated to It's internal monologue, is still a powerful number — just not so much as seven). This is due to the fact that Stan Uris, the most logical of the bunch (portrayed as a child by Wyatt Oleff, and as an adult by Andy Bean) remembered just a bit too much about that long-ago summer upon receiving Mike's invitation back to Derry.

That is to say, it all pretty much comes flooding back — and as a result, just minutes after receiving Mike's call, Stan commits suicide. It's apparent that It: Chapter Two will carry over this plot point from the book; in every single one of the trailer's shots that feature the entire adult Losers' Club assembled, Stan is nowhere to be seen. As a side note, in the novel, the Losers discover Stan's severed head in a refrigerator in their hotel; they later find a note from Pennywise which reads, "The Losers' Club is still losing, but Stan Uris is finally a head!" That Pennywise sure has a more messed-up sense of humor than most clowns.

This funhouse doesn't seem so fun

In one of the new trailer's most harrowing sequences, Bill (James McAvoy) is seen pursuing a young boy through a carnival funhouse, after presumably spotting something (or some... thing) on the fairgrounds which sets off his alarms. He loses the youngster in the hall of mirrors, finally managing to catch up to him — but they're separated by a pane of thick glass. In a horrible echo of his brother Georgie's fate (in the excruciating opening scene of It), Pennywise materializes to menace the child as a helpless Bill frantically kicks at the glass — an outcome that the Head Loser probably predicted, given the funhouse's decor.

Pennywise delights in tormenting It's victims with their worst fears, and It has a way of bending said victims' perception of reality to It's will. Sure, funhouses are meant to be a little scary — but those gently swaying installations would make any child in their right mind run screaming from the attraction. They bear more than a passing resemblance to Pennywise himself (complete with those three red pom-poms), and while some of them are smiling, others sport a look of wide-eyed, abject terror. It's an ingenious visual signifier that, as Bill enters the funhouse, he's entering the monster's domain — where any mind-shredding horror is possible, and nothing is quite as it seems.

This guy really likes balloons

In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment from the trailer, we see an unidentified man being dragged through the halls of what appears to be a mental institution. Oblivious to the staff member trying to place him into a chokehold, he's fixated with rapturous joy on a red balloon — Pennywise's calling card — floating by outside. There's a reason he's so pumped, for as fans of the novel are well aware, this is no random patient.

This is the adult Henry Bowers, who as a child terrorized the Losers' Club and fell under the sway of Pennywise, causing him to murder his abusive father (and, as a deleted scene from It revealed, his buddies "Belch" Huggins and Victor Criss as well). In King's novel, Henry is committed to Juniper Hill asylum after the murders, where he spends 27 years obsessing over his encounter with forces beyond his comprehension. When Pennywise returns, Bowers escapes, with a supernatural assist from the shapeshifting entity. He single-mindedly sets out to murder the Losers, one by one — and succeeds in severely wounding Mike, and breaking Eddie's arm (in the exact same place where it was broken in the Losers' childhood encounter with Pennywise). Judging by the inclusion of this scene in the trailer, it seems that Bowers (portrayed by Nicholas Hamilton as a child, and Teach Grant as an adult) will follow a similar trajectory in It: Chapter Two.

Setting the stage

In King's novel, the resumption of Pennywise's cycle is always heralded by a violent and shocking event; a lumberjack randomly slaughtering his crew, the wanton slaughter of a band of gangsters by police, the burning down of the town's only black-owned nightclub. In the case of the re-emergence which brings the Losers back to Derry, the signifying event is the murder of Adrian Mellon, a young gay man who is beaten and thrown over a bridge by a group of three homophobic bullies.

Only Adrian isn't quite dead as he lies broken and bleeding under the bridge; his death comes as Pennywise sets upon him, biting a chunk out of the man's side. This incident is witnessed by Adrian's tormentors, who fail to mention it at their subsequent trial (par for the course for all of these incidents throughout the town's history). While all three of the bullies are presented with the impossible sight of a razor-toothed clown eating their victim, one of them sees something else as well — hundreds of red balloons, floating serenely under the bridge. This shot from the trailer can only be the conclusion of that scene, which screenwriter Gary Dauberman has confirmed will be included in the film.

Keep your eye on that statue

When the Losers reconvene in Derry in the book, they decide to split up to individually explore their old haunts, the better to acclimate themselves and refresh their memories of the events of their childhoods. Of course, Pennywise takes this opportunity to taunt them all, assaulting them with reality-warping experiences which turn the most innocent of their formative memories on their heads. One of the most memorable of these sequences involves Richie Tozier (portrayed by Finn Wolfhard as a child, and Bill Hader as an adult), who pays a visit to the town's park — a park which is graced with a towering, hilariously tacky statue of Paul Bunyan.

Richie's solo adventure is briefly depicted in the trailer, as he sees Pennywise gliding along with a bundle of balloons above that very statue. He remembers that as a child, Henry Bowers' gang chased him to that exact spot — where the Bunyan statue came to life, chasing him down with its tremendous ax. The adult Richie watches in horror as the statue morphs into a bizarre version of Pennywise and proceeds to warn him of his impending doom. Both scenes probably lend themselves to the page better than they would to the screen, so it'll be interesting to see how Dauberman and Muschietti end up handling them. But we'll say this for adult Richie: he must have nerves of steel to get within a mile of that statue.

A strange formation

A couple of shots in the trailer show the Losers, flashlights in hand, venturing into Pennywise's underground lair. It's an unsettling place, but we'd expect that; what stands out are the bizarre rock formations that seem to surround It's domain. They seem quite out of place in this underground environment, but they hint at the story's greatest mystery: where, exactly, It came from.

The Losers' research as children revealed that It had been a part of Derry since before the town even existed, but why Derry? Well, take a close look at those outcroppings of stone; they certainly don't appear to be natural, and in fact, they're the kind of traumatic geological upheavals which one might expect to see around the edges of a blast crater... or the site of some cataclysmic impact. That's because this is exactly what they are, but in order to uncover the truth of It's origins, the Losers had to rely on a method that ventured just a wee bit outside of poring over historical documents. What they uncovered, and how they uncovered it, is hinted at in another of the trailer's very brief scenes.

The Smoke-Hole

In one shot near the spot's end, Mike is seen in some kind of crude tent, as the world appears to be shaking itself to pieces around him. He doesn't appear frightened, however; he seems positively joyous, as if he's on the receiving end of some great, universal truth. This may actually be exactly what's happening in this shot, as it appears to be a depiction of a ritual the Losers engaged in as children in the novel — meaning that this could be a weird kind of flashback, or the filmmakers may have chosen to move it to the present day.

It involves a "Smoke-Hole," a construct built for a Native American ritual which Ben discovers and which is meant to bring enlightenment. Sitting in an enclosure while burning a dry, smoky fire, the Losers all experience visions — one of which reveals that It came to Earth millennia ago, as It is a being of extraterrestrial (or, perhaps, inter-dimensional) origin. It's impact, similar to that of a small asteroid, created the deep caverns that exist under Derry — the caverns where It make It's home, and where It brings all of It's prey to feed on them. 

The knowledge gained from their time in the "Smoke-Hole" propels the group on a new path, leading them to discover that the only way to defeat It is through yet another ritual — one which has long been considered the most difficult aspect of King's novel to put to film.

The Ritual of Chüd

The Losers are finally able to kill It for good by engaging in the Ritual of Chüd, the details of which were revealed to Bill by Maturin, an eternal force of light (represented by a turtle, of all things) which is diametrically opposed to It. The ritual involves engaging It in combat — not physical, but mental. The Losers must use their wit, knowledge, and love for each other to essentially will It into submission, and — as depicted in the novel — it's a battle that takes place purely in the psychic realm, where belief and purity of intention are capable of defeating even the most malevolent forces.

In this shot, the surviving Losers certainly seem to be about to engage in some sort of ritual — and Dauberman has indeed let slip that a form of the Ritual of Chüd will be featured in It: Chapter Two, describing his writing of the sequence as "trying to find the most focused, accessible way into some of more metaphysical aspects of that book." It'll be extremely interesting to see how he and Muschietti tackled one of the most bonkers, abstract climaxes in all of horror literature — but they have our confidence, and King's as well. In a tweet, the author said simply, "Looking forward to It: Chapter Two? You should be. I've seen it, and it's terrific."

All will be revealed when the flick hits screens on September 6.