There’s more than just greywater to fear in the sewers of Derry, Maine when IT CHAPTER TWO arrives in Cineworld on 6th September.
It’s been 27 years since the Losers’ Club defeated malevolent clown Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard). In the second instalment, once again adapted from Stephen King’s lengthy novel, the Losers return to their childhood hometown as adults when Pennywise resurfaces to feed once again.
Back in 2017, IT became the highest-grossing horror movie of all time, breaking box office records as it reminded a new generation just how terrifying clowns can be, and how twisted King’s imagination is.
If you need reminding of just how scary the first IT was, here are seven nerve-shredding scenes to prepare you for IT CHAPTER TWO.
WARNING: SPOILERS AND SCARY CLOWNS AHEAD
1. "Hiya, Georgie..."
From the very beginning, IT lets us know that it isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to horrific imagery. The movie begins with the gruesome death of little Georgie Denbrough (Jackson Robert Scott), who meets his untimely end sailing a paper boat on a stormy day.
After the boat is swept into a storm drain, Georgie’s greeted by an intensely creepy Pennywise, who attempts to lure him into the sewer. While the image of a clown in the drains is unsettling in itself, it’s Skarsgard’s performance that really sells the scene: his off-putting speech, drooling and off-centre left eye is the stuff of nightmares.
We know nothing good can come from this encounter, and when Georgie reaches for his boat, our fears are confirmed when the clown sinks his rows of teeth into the boy’s arm in a harrowing climax.
And if that didn’t scare you, the over-extended arms dragging the screaming child to his death will.
2. The lady in the painting
One of Pennywise’s horror superpowers is shapeshifting into its victim’s worst fears. The first time we see this in action is when he torments Stan (Wyatt Oleff) while disguised as a twisted flautist from a painting in his father’s office.
A textbook example of how to build suspense, the terror ramps up when Stan hangs the fallen picture on the wall to reveal its subject is missing.
A creaking door and chilling flute melody only raise our heart-rates further as the camera slowly pans to reveal the grotesque figure standing behind him before she steps from the shadows, bearing her razor-sharp teeth in a ghoulish smile.
3. The library
The next Loser to meet Pennywise is Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor) who's researching Derry’s history at the local library. This sequence introduces us to the town’s grisly past with some graphic images in a history book (look closely and you can see a blurry Pennywise there too).
And it delivers even more delicious tension as Ben is pursued through the archives by a headless boy, only for Pennywise to reveal himself at the last second.
What makes this scene especially noteworthy is the librarian in the background of the shots. Keep a close eye on her and you’ll notice her smiling at Ben; it’s a detail that’s easy to miss, but when you do spot it, it makes the scene far more disturbing.
4. "You’ll float too"
No-one was more traumatised by poor Georgie’s death than his older brother Bill (Jaeden Martell). So much so that Pennywise manipulates his guilt over his brother’s death to horrific effect. Case in point: when Bill sees Georgie, complete with his yellow rain slicker, in the basement.
After visiting Georgie’s room, he follows what he thinks is his brother down into the basement where he apologises for losing his boat. However, Bill quickly realises that whatever’s in his now-flooded basement isn’t his sweet, innocent brother, as the boy rapidly decomposes as his voice grows demonic while chanting the clown's hideous line, "You’ll float too".
And, in one final scare, Pennywise (using the boy as a decoy) hurtles towards Bill in an effort to grab him before slithering away.
In the IT CHAPTER TWO trailer, this scene is mirrored with Georgie accusing the older Bill (James McAvoy), "You lied and I died". Those guilty demons are clearly paying a huge role in the second instalment...
- IT CHAPTER TWO gets its first critical reactions
- IT CHAPTER TWO 360 Experience takes you inside Pennywise's funhouse
- IT CHAPTER TWO featurette brings us home to Derry
5. The projector scene
A modernised version of the photo album sequence from the 1990 IT miniseries, this scare happens when the Losers get together to discuss their plan of action. However, they have an uninvited – and hungry – guest.
Becoming possessed, the projector shows a selection of Denbrough family snaps, supernaturally zooming in to one of the pictures to uncover Pennywise’s grinning visage.
When the projector’s knocked over, the clown vanishes momentarily prior to jumping out the screen – proving the only thing scarier than a killer clown is a huge killer clown.
6. The Neibolt House
Blindly entering the lair of a child-eating entity is never a good idea, a lesson the Losers learn the hard way when they enter the Neibolt House.
A literal funhouse of horrors, there’s plenty of delightful scares including a room of clown dolls, scary doors, body horror and, of course, Pennywise himself.
Emerging in a contorted state from a fridge, Skarsgard once again proves how incredibly unnerving he is as Pennywise as he terrorises Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer). Reportedly, this was the first scene Skarsgard shot in the movie, and given he’d been kept separate from the children prior to filming, their horrified reactions are all-the-more genuine.
Everything about Skarsgard’s movements are brilliantly unnatural and creepy, and we can’t wait to see more in IT CHAPTER TWO.
7. "Kill them all"
Listen closely whenever one of the adult characters is watching television, and you’ll notice they’re all watching the same bizarre children's show that talks a lot about sewers and clowns.
Arguably the spookiest iteration of this is when psychotic bully Henry Bowers (Nicholas Hamilton) catches an episode that encourages him to murder his own dad. He's then urged by Pennywise, who appears on the TV with his horrible leering grin, to set his bloodthirsty sights on the Losers.
Pennywise is definitely the worst possible choice to host family friendly programming. And Bowers returns in IT CHAPTER TWO, older and far more deranged, ready to do the evil clown's bidding once again...
Has this got you in the mood for clown-induced madness? Good news: you can now book your Cineworld tickets for the IT and IT CHAPTER TWO double-bill on Thursday 5th September.
Or if that's a bit too much for you, click here to book your Cineworld tickets for IT CHAPTER TWO, which opens on 6th September. Until then, be sure to keep an eye on that storm drain...
Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.