Seinfeld's Cosmo Kramer and I share an irrational fear of clowns.
My first bouts of coulrophobia were nightmares of colorful clown portraits hung on opposing walls of my childhood bedroom muttering angrily to each other as I sat bolt upright in my bunk bed.
Since therapists believe the best way to conquer fear is to face it head-on, I'm here to carefully dissect the contents and questions arising from today's trailer for Stephen King's IT, which floats into theaters September 8 with the first of two parts.
Stop clowning around, and let's begin to unravel director Andy Muschietti's tasty horror treat.
The last voyage of the SS Georgie
We open in the cozy suburban bedroom of Bill Denbrough in 1989, as Bill completes his fold job on the SS Georgie, the doomed paper vessel that will lead his little brother Georgie to his tragic death. Thanks a heap, bro!
Run little raincoat dude, run!
Here's Georgie in his iconic yellow raincoat chasing his paper sailboat down the rushing gutter toward the corner of Jackson street and a really evil sewer drain. Such a torrential downpour is only ever experienced in movies. A harbinger of the flood of evil about to descend? Watch out for that construction warning sign! Oops, too late.
As Georgie leans down to rescue his sunken sailboat, we get our first flash of Bill Skarsgard's Pennywise the Clown as he pops into view to display his frightening grease-painted visage. No dialog is spoken but somewhere in our heads we hear Tim Curry's gravel-voiced greeting. Fade to black.
Not the safest place to settle down
Behold the sleepy New England town of Derry, Maine, where we're told that people die or disappear at six times the national average, and that's just grown-ups! Kids are worse. I think I'd blast out of this burg as fast as my Bridgestones could carry me.
Step away from the red balloon!
Oh, look! It's a bright red balloon floating across the classroom. An innocent symbol of childhood or an ominous sign that Pennywise is about to devour another unknowing child? What do you think?
Young members of The Losers Club ride again
Heres a first look at most of the main characters forming The Losers Club, with a scene reminiscent of last summer's Stranger Things, especailly with the Netflix series' Finn Wolfhard as the spectacled Richie Tozier pedaling his BMX bike down the street.
A rare fixer-upper opportunity
The kids stop and investigate this decrepit mansion at 29 Neibolt Street near the trainyards. The abandoned house is where Eddie Kaspbrak first discovers the IT entity as a leper beneath the crumbling front porch and tells Bill and Ritchie about it. One of the demonic creature's favorite lairs!
Time for a sinister slideshow
Bill, Ritchie, Eddie and the entire seven-member Losers Club give the slide carousel a whirl while trying to figure out the mystery of the town murders and its link to the past. This sequence is particularly effective as the slide projector becomes possessed by the evil being seen in different forms before a 30-year feeding begins.
Derry's delightful sewer system strikes again
Bill deduces that Pennywise is using the town's sewer system for its homicidal sprees and uses this vintage map to plot it all out. Once its hiding places are discovered the slide carousel goes berserk. You don't usually expect behavior like that in most household electronic devices.
Somebody unplug this deranged thing!
The slide carousel goes insane and starts showing shots of Georgie and his parents, faster and faster until it zooms in on an image of Bill's red-haried mother, who begins to take on a familiar, but ugly, face!
That's not my mother!
This is a genuinely unsettling effect! In a flashing flutter of images, the Denbrough mommy gradually morphs into the hideous form of Pennywise as strands of orange-red hair part to reveal the killer clown. Skarsgard is gonna totally nail this role and the more we see, the scarier it looks.
Pennywise lends the kids a clawed hand
This appears to be set inside the crumbling mansion seen earlier, with Pennywise cornering Bill, Ritchie, Eddie and the gang. This dusty place needs a good housecleaning for sure and I'm not sure Pennywise wants to get his clown suit all soiled, unless it's with the color red!
Do I smell smoke?
Here's a disturbing scene with charred human hands emerging from a burning meat company back door, wriggling fingers and all. Chosen Jacobs' Mike Hanlon watches in terror as the bodies smolder and burn. I might become vegetarian after seeing this.
Time to call the plumber!
This is what happens when you get too many potato peels down the sink and it clogs up, releasing an explosion of blood! This takes place in Beverly Marsh's kitchen and ramps up this iconic scene from the book and TV series with buckets more of the red stuff.
The red balloon man cometh
This is a beautifully composed image that was first released before the trailer dropped, carefully concealing Bill Skarsgard's Pennywise the Dancing Clown... all except for his ravenous mouth of course.
Little Georgie's pissed about losing his paper boat
Georgie appears as a ghost before Bill in his home's flooded basement and starts screaming his little lungs out. "You'll Float, Too!!" Guess he never founded his damn toy boat and has now become the mouth for the diabolical child murderer.
Georgie's rantings herald the arrival of Pennywise, a vision of venomous hate, up from the waters of the Denbrough home's flooded basement. I love the lighting in this shot and I hope the rest of the movie has such lush cinematography.
An eruption of insanity
Pennywise comes roaring out of the water in a furious attack on Bill that leaves us chilled to the bone. This is only a hint of the R-rated violence that will surely come out in subsequent trailers and clips.
One final reminder of the hideous horror of IT
After the credits role we are given one last look at Pennywise as Bill and Georgie's mom transformed into an unthinkable ancient evil. Spain's DDT (Mama, Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth,The Devil's Backbone) did the makeup and special effects in the two-part film and the results are impressive. Are you primed for Stephen King's IT when it invades theaters on September 8th?