Shot by Shot with the ‘IT: Chapter 2’ Trailer

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been anticipating Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of the second half of Stephen King’s IT pretty much since the credits rolled on the battered but hopeful Loser’s Club in September 2017. We still have a few more months until IT: Chapter 2’s September 6th release, but luckily that gives us plenty of time to pore over every moment of the nearly-three-minute teaser trailer that just debuted.

The bulk of this trailer — about two minutes and 15 seconds in length — is taken up by the terrifying scene at Mrs. Kersh’s house. The remaining 40 seconds has nearly as many shots, most of them intriguing glimpses of modern-day Derry, Maine, the adult Losers, and our old pal Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård). All of it is worth a closer look.

The trailer starts with a door labeled with the number five and the sound of a doorbell. Although Stephen King books have had some important room numbers — 237 and 1408 among them — this 5 doesn’t have any stated significance in the book.

The camera then cuts to Jessica Chastain peeking nervously through the crack as it opens. This is the point at which, when you watch the trailer in theaters, someone next to you who has no idea what they’re in for will say, “I love Jessica Chastain!”

An old woman peeks through the crack and asks if she can help her. Chastain says, “I used to live here.” A quick cut shows a young Beverly, played by Sophia Lillis, looking serious in the living room of her former home. This isn’t a shot from the first film, although by the familiar looks of her green overalls it’s likely meant to be during the summer of 1989 when the first chapter of IT is set.

In case anyone doesn’t recognize the franchise from that shot of young Bev and the red balloon that floats by the New Line Cinema logo, Mrs. Kersh starts giving off strong “this is a horror movie” vibes from the jump. “Won’t you come in? It’s the least I can do,” she says and lets Beverly into her home. This kitschy set, complete with ruffled pillows, ceramic ornaments, and balls of yarn, is a far cry from the dark place where Beverly endured abuse from her father years ago.

While Mrs. Kersh puts on a kettle for tea, Bev takes a quick look around and discovers the postcard on which smitten Ben had written her a haiku when they were kids. She smiles, holding the card at (bruised) arm’s length, the shot mirroring the one from the first film in which she first reads the poem. Also mirrored? The romantic score, which becomes distorted and eerie as something unnatural occurs. Last time it was a voice from the bathroom sink, but this time it’s inhuman Mrs. Kersh watching from the doorway before walking away with squelchy, twitchy footsteps.


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Valerie Ettenhofer: @aandeandval Val is a San Francisco Bay Area freelance writer, TV lover, and cheese plate enthusiast. You can find her @aandeandval wherever social media accounts are sold.