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Gary Dauberman’s professional mission appears to be to scare the crap out of audiences.
Need proof? His track record includes penning It, The Nun, two Annabelle films and this year’s third installment, Annabelle Comes Home, which also marks his directorial debut. He will continue that spooky streak with the screenplay for the upcoming It: Chapter Two, the first trailer for which dropped yesterday.
Chapter Two focuses on the Losers Club a full 27 years later after their encounter with the malevolent Pennywise. The friends have grown up and mostly left Derry behind. However, when Pennywise returns to their hometown, they must conqueror their fears and band together again to take down this evil… once and for all.
Dauberman spoke with SYFY WIRE about It: Chapter Two's trailer, grownup Beverly’s terrifying encounter, building tension and copious amounts of blood.
What can viewers expect to see from the sequel?
The movie is epic. It is such a great extension of everything that came from chapter one. It fits in seamlessly. We really concocted a unique blend of scares, from one character to the next. In the trailer, it's the Mrs. Kersh scene, which is a scene I have always loved from the book. It's terrifying. When you are writing it, you bring your own spin to it, although the scene works so great in the book that I did very little to it. Then director Andy Muschietti comes in and he starts to put his spin on it.
That’s not even the whole scene in the trailer. You are just seeing a glimpse of it. It goes on. You are curling up in your seat waiting for this balloon to pop, pun completely intended. I think it’s darker in a lot of ways than the first one. The two movies feel like a complete whole to me.
That scene demonstrates how masterful you guys are at building suspense and anticipation…
Reading that scene in the book is really just a master class in building a scene. Then, the way Andy crafted it, it’s really a master class in filmmaking. I think he’s made an iconic scene in there.
Jessica Chastain mentioned there's a sequence that someone on-set said features the most blood in a horror movie. Can you speak to that?
I will say it gets very very bloody. There's a lot of blood. There is a lot, a lot of blood. She knows that firsthand. I don’t want to put metrics to it, but I wouldn't be surprised. Throughout, there’s quite a bit of blood. It’s Pennywise. Jessica put a lot of hard work into this movie. She kills it, as does a lot of this cast. They do such an amazing job.
In what way did you crank up the scares, gore, and tension for the adult versions of these characters?
I didn’t see it as, "Okay, I’m writing adult scares now." This story is about them remembering their childhood, and bringing them back to their childhood, and making them remember what it's like to be kids. I didn't really think that it’s a new type of scare. A lot of adults are scared of real-world stuff. It's hard to get adults to believe in ghosts and demons and spirits again. That's why I loved writing It, because it's about getting them to believe in the stuff that you stopped believing in when you turn into an adult.
I didn't really treat it different, writing for the old Bev to the young Bev. They are the same person. It’s just getting through to the old Bev of remembering what she was scared of as a kid.
I will say, from a story standpoint, there’s a little more freedom writing for kids or teenagers. They are more willing to accept supernatural stuff. But they are also more risk takers. They will go down to the basement if they hear a noise. They want to see what it is, while an adult might be, "F**k that. I'm out of here." You get more creative license when you are writing for teenagers or children because they have the courage of youth, wheras adults are a little more reasonable when they respond to danger.