When I was a young, naive child, I watched the original 1990s IT mini-series and I was petrified.
It started with YouTube compilations of clips from the movie, from Pennywise’s initial drain-covered encounter with Georgie to the Losers’ Club huddling around the photo book that turns alive.
Then, my friends and I plucked up the dutch courage to watch the full thing – to say I was shook would be an understatement.
This f*cking shot right here kept me up at night:
Even now, in my twenties, Tim Curry’s dancing clown gives me the fear. However, when Pennywise took to our screens again in 2017’s IT, today’s generation were introduced to Stephen King’s iconic monster.
Directed by Andy Muschietti, the film was a smash-hit success – pulling in over $700 million at the box office, making it the highest-grossing horror film of all time.
The sequel, IT: Chapter Two, is hitting cinemas soon – and the marketing department are cashing in on the terror of Pennywise. Massive billboards and posters have been spotted showing Bill Skarsgård’s malicious clown smiling menacingly, with red dripping from his mouth.
However, parents have flagged concerns over the adverts – saying their children are ‘freaked out’ any time they pass by them.
Kellie, a mum from Brisbane, told 9News: ‘It just totally freaks them out.’
Her daughter Piper added:
I get really scared because it’s hard to go to bed when you have a scary picture in your mind. Before I go to bed, I have to check the whole room.
And when I finally go to bed I will wake up after a nightmare.
Another parent, Jane Swan, says her child is terrified by the poster. She told 9News: ‘Some people do enjoy going to horror movies and that’s fine and that’s their choice, and I understand that but we’re not choosing to see this poster.’
Swan went as far as to issue a complaint, arguing that films for adult audiences shouldn’t be advertised in such a manner in areas frequented by children.
Swan was reportedly told:
Ad Standards generally has no jurisdiction over the placement or timing of advertisements, except when considering the use of language or sex, sexuality or nudity in advertising.
Based on King’s seminal novel, IT: Chapter Two will introduce us to the Losers’ Club 27 years after the traumatic events of the first film – all grown-up and forced to return to Derry to face their past demons.
It has a star-studded cast: James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader are the big hitters, alongside Skarsgård as the child-eating clown at the centre of it all.
James McAvoy, who spoke to UNILAD on set in Toronto, said they had a high-bar to hit after the horror of the first outing.
McAvoy told UNILAD:
We can be a bit more full-on because we’re dealing with a bunch of adults rather than a bunch of kids. Mind you, it’s not like the last one was a PG, so you’ve got a pretty high bar to hit.
Luckily we’ve got a director who wants to outdo himself, not just in terms of thrills and chills but also in terms of the quality and that’s the most important thing if you up the quality the other stuff will come.
I don’t think the aim for him is to scare people more or be more horrific I think is the aim for him is to make an even better movie.
There are even clown-only screenings being organised for the film’s release, if you favour that kind of stress in the cinema.
IT: Chapter Two floats into cinemas on September 6.
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.