Why This Works: The “It” Trailer

You really can’t miss with terrifying clowns

The Trailer: It, directed by Andres Muschietti, and starring Bill Skarsgaard, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, and Jaeden Lieberher

IT - Official Trailer 1

The Brief: The second adaptation of the 1986 Stephen King novel (following a 1990 TV mini-series starring Tim Curry), It is the story of a group of outcast kids who come face to face with an evil entity that takes the form of a creepy clown. Despite an existing fanbase of avowed King fans (both the novel and the original mini-series are cult favorites), the first feature film adaptation actually has a bit of a struggle on its hands—namely, how do you sell the scares when Tim Curry’s take on the murderous clown Pennywise has been watered down by years and years of comic meme work?

“If the film is as good as its trailer, it will definitely please fans of the scary novel. Packed with jump scares and striking images, the trailer compresses a lot of horror into two and a half minutes,” says film editor Rosella Tursi. “I was terrified just watching this trailer and was glad it was broad daylight.”

It would be easy for It to sit back on some creepy imagery and let the novel’s notoriety speak for itself—what more do you need than the name “Stephen King” and some atmospheric shots of creepy sewers and old houses anyway? What makes It effective as a sales tool, however, is that it takes the time to give you something more.

“What makes the trailer really shine, is that it also depicts the friendship between the kids at the center of the story,” explains Tursi. “That really comes through and adds a depth that you don’t usually see in the horror genre. The editor has found the humanity in the film and showcased it beautifully.”



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