9 terrifying Stephen King secrets hiding in the IT trailer

IT was always going to be a hard nut to crack. A veritable tome from Stephen King that was turned into a, let's face it, pretty mediocre TV mini series, it was elevated only by a stand out performance by Tim Curry. But IT isn't just a story about a clown. It's a tale of fear itself. The history of a town doomed by a horrific and deadly presence that smiles on the surface, but is hiding a monster beneath its pavements. 

Thankfully, from the lean two-minute run time of the trailer, it looks like Mama director Andres Muschietti absolutely understands this. He's shifted the action to the '80s instead of the '50s - a far more accessible 'historical' touchpoint for today - and it's easy to see he understands that the horror of IT isn't solely about Pennywise the clown. Nowhere in this town is safe. And oh god, is he going to show it. Here are the nine stand out moments that prove this could be the adaptation we've been waiting for. 

This IS Derry

Let's face it. This was the only way to start an IT trailer. Bill Denbrough's little brother Georgie running through the rainy streets of Derry, chasing his little paper boat. The casual sweep past that street sign is no accident. It's a literal ominous signpost of what's to come. Fans of King's book know exactly what happens to poor Georgie at the corner of Jackson and Union. Spoiler: He doesn't find a kitten. 

We all float down here... 

And there it is, the not kitten. Pennywise appearing to Georgie, with the scent of popcorn and cotton candy drifting out of the stormdrain is an iconic moment. Bill Skarsgård has donned the giant shoes of Pennywise this time around and while there was plenty of talk of him being too young for the role, even this moment can silence any critics. *shudder*

Derry isn't safe 

Even in this short sequence trailer the evil of Derry is clear. Even though the kids are spilling out of school to enjoy the holidays, a curfew is in place. This is a dangerous town after dark. Eagle eyed fans of the novel will spot that the missing person is Patrick Hockstetter. In the book Hockstetter is a brutal and sadistic friend of bully Henry Bowers. He's a typical King human monster. Unfeeling and hideous. To be honest, it's probably a good thing he's already missing. 

Who knew balloons could be this scary?

While we could say that it's good to see Ben Hanscom, played by Jeremy Ray Taylor, in his usual hiding place of the library, there's the small problem of an ominous floating balloon. There's also the fact that no one else but Ben can see it. I'd warrant that popping it wouldn't be a good idea. 

The house on Neibolt Street 

And you thought haunted houses were cheap looking. Every neighbourhood has the house that all the kids will dare themselves to run through the garden of. Derry is no exception but when you've got a monster like IT running around, you can guarantee something a little more dangerous. In the book, because IT takes the form of the fears of the individual kids, it appears in two forms in the house. Richie is afraid of werewolves so is attacked by a hideous teen wolf while Eddie Kasprak, the son of a hypochondriac, is stalked by a man suffering from leprosy. It'll be interesting to see whether this adaptation follows King's lead and morphs like a terrifying Boggart, or keeps to the simpler and safer clown form.  

That smile

And here's a killer original scare. In both the original book and in the TV mini series, Pennywise appears in a photograph and climbs up a lamp-post towards the camera in a horrific blurring of reality and fiction. Muschietti clearly wants to create something fresh and has crafted a creepy stop motion fright with a projector and a camera slides. Very Sinister. And very scary. 

A hands on approach 

Urgh. This looks like it might be inside the house on Neibolt Street and a lot like a clown's sleeve if you can take your eyes off the claws and the strange flick of the pinky finger. It also suggests that Pennywise is just going to be the constant shape of the nasty. If it all looks as terrifying as this, that's not going to be a problem. The good news is that the Loser's Club have to survive to be grown ups in part 2.  

Don't open, dead inside

This is Mike Hanlon. He's not having a nice time. Is that clear enough? Every building in Derry has its own grim history. It looks like Mike has just stumbled upon it here. As an older man in the books, Mike Hanlon writes a history of Derry that includes a grim recounting of a fire at a club known as The Black Spot. Frequented by black soldiers from a nearby army base, the club was burned down by Maine's white supremacists, killing many. It looks like history is literally banging on the other side of that door. As a bonus King Easter egg, if you remember The Shining's Dick Halloraan, he was a cook in the kitchen but escaped. 

And if all that didn't convince you

That will be all. 

Louise Blain

Louise Blain is a journalist and broadcaster specialising in gaming, technology, and entertainment. She is the presenter of BBC Radio 3’s monthly Sound of Gaming show and has a weekly consumer tech slot on BBC Radio Scotland. She can also be found on BBC Radio 4, BBC Five Live, Netflix UK's YouTube Channel, and on The Evolution of Horror podcast. As well as her work on GamesRadar, Louise writes for NME, T3, and TechRadar. When she’s not working, you can probably find her watching horror movies or playing an Assassin’s Creed game and getting distracted by Photo Mode.