"It Was Always About Alcohol" - Stephen King Breaks Down the "It" Trailer: A Play by Play
"It Was Always About Alcohol" - Stephen King Breaks Down the "It" Trailer: A Play by Play
by Sam Kubanon September 03, 2017
When we heard that a retelling of "It" was in the works, we simply could not hold back our excitement. We had to know more. But since we didn't know who was going to be directing the film, and since we really didn't care to find out, we decided to get a breakdown of the horrifying trailer from Stephen King himself.
We sat down with the master of horror and took notes as he filled us in on every single visual reference this monster of a trailer had to offer. To be honest, we've always had our suspicions about the underlying theme of the film, and it was very satisfying to learn from its creator that we were "spot fucking on."
"I mean, honestly, it was always about alcohol. And I'm not saying it's like an autobiography or anything. But it's close, I guess. The story is just jam-fucking-packed with symbolism...and all that shit, or whatever. Here, play the video, and I'll explain." - Stephen King
0:04 - Drunk Diving
"Yeah, okay, here we go. They're getting right to the heart of the story, I guess. This is where an alcoholic child 'drunk dives' from a huge ass cliff. We always used to do that shit, man."
0:12 - Alcoholics Anonymous
"So yeah, these hammered but determined children have started an alcoholics support group for minors. This little snippet of an arm in the cast showcases one of the injuries that could potentially be sustained from jumping off a 100ft rock formation into a shallow body of water while totally hammered at the age of, I don't know, let's say ten. Just a little cautionary tale or whatever."
0:13 - "You think that you'll always be protected and cared for."
"This phrase nicely sums up what I call 'drunk thinking.' As a preteen alcoholic with a desperation to fit in and jump from cliffs, you're always thinking that booze will protect you and prevent cowardice, regardless of how high the rocky ledge is that you're getting ready to jump from. Yeah, sure, it might sound crazy. But it's the goddamn truth."
0:19 - "Then one day you realize that's not true"
"This is, of course, in reference to withdrawal symptoms. When you stop slamming shots at the crumbling edge of a precipice every day after school, and when the brutality of reality comes back into play, you start to realize that there is more to life than just gettin' blasted and hurling yourself from tall rocks and shit. You also realize that maybe not everyone is even into that, even though deep down you know that anyone who doesn't love the thrill of falling twenty stories with a brain soaked in vodka is just a fucking loser. Plain and simple. Hey, you guys got any Svedka?"
0:25 - 7pm Curfew
"When your town is filled with children who love pounding beers at all hours of the night, sometimes you have to take preventative measures, you know? That's exactly what this sign is about. This town can't have all these damn kids staying up until 3:00am, diving off sky-high boulders in the dark. It's a healthy decision that the community felt was a necessity. It doesn't mean it's going to work, but hey, they tried. Know what I'm sayin'?"
0:26 - 0:31 - "'Cause when you're alone as a kid, the monsters see you as weaker"
"The monsters, of course, symbolize the temptations caused by the inner demons of the alcoholic. The little paper boat, a first attempt at replacing a bad habit with a productive hobby, is shown here. As you can see, the boat is made with very, like, delicate material and obviously symbolizes extreme weakness as well as a depressing lack of commitment to sobriety. I mean, if you can't build a real goddamn boat, then you're a fucking pussy. And that's where it gets tough. Because when your inner demons recognize your inner pussy, they come out to play, and they don't take 'no' for an answer."
0:36 "You don't even know they're getting closer"
"Okay, so this is where the sadness, darkness, and awareness of sober solitude starts to creep in. The red balloon symbolizes the 'harmless' initial temptation. So, you know, it's like when you're walking home from school past the cliff where you and your friends used to always meet, and you realize that you'd honestly give up anything and everything to just to toss back a gallon of Tequila and do a kickass back flip off the top like you did in the good ol' days."
0:45 - The Inner Demon Makes its Presence Known.
"The shitty little paper boat gets sucked into the storm drain. This is essentially informing the audience how ridiculously easy it is to give in to temptation. Know what I mean, man? Like, it shows exactly how simple it is to throw away your new, boring 'passions' that don't include flooding your body with toxins and carelessly rolling off a 300ft bluff. But upon throwing away that 'new you,' you see the face of what you used to love. You see the face of the monster. Speaking of toxins, fill her up, boys. I need to get blasted."
0:51 - He Loses the Boat
"He reaches for the paper boat in one last act of desperation. One last attempt to try to quell the need to get absolutely sloshed out of his fuckin' mind."
0:59 - "My grandfather thinks this town is cursed....that all the bad things that happen in this town are because of one thing."
"It's been established that this 'one thing' is the children's aggressive addiction to alcohol-induced cliff jumping. This is the bane of their existence. It's a small town, and it can really only 'stay afloat' if everyone does their part. But if every single man, woman, and child simply wants to get devastatingly wasted and fall off something super high, then nothing gets done. Chores don't get finished, houses turn to shit, etc. Because, you know, painting a house is like the very last thing you want to do when you're totally hungover and have seven or eight broken bones from a late night jump."
1:00 - It's Been This Way Forever
"Here they show some old newspaper clippings and illustrations. It is very clear that this small town's obsession is not some new, like, 'radical punk rebellion' thing, or whatever. This community has been drinking & diving since day one. And why wouldn't they? Fuckin' nothing else to do, man."
1:16 - The First Big Scare
"So this is where the characters start to realize that one of the kids has relapsed. He's starting to scare the shit out of his loved ones, you know, and he just got done stomping through the whole goddamn house with mud all over his goddamn boots. That's enough to make anyone drop their Legos. Am I right?"
1:23 - "If you come with me, you'll float too"
"This is where peer pressure starts to come into play again. One of the kids starts to see the effects of alcohol from a third person perspective. A perspective he isn't used to, you know? So he starts to, like, wonder if this is how he also looks when he's getting ready to black-the-fuck-out after slamming back shot after shot after shot after shot after shot. So he obviously feels pretty upset about that, like we all have at one point. This is where the real temptation starts, man. When his companion on the journey to sobriety gives in like a little bitch."
1:34 - "Yeah, I saw him too"
"This is an obvious reference to seeing alternate personality traits when one is under the influence of a shitload of whiskey, gin, scotch, beer, and who the hell knows what else. The sewer clown, who previously hid in in the shadows, is now coming into the light. There's also some foreshadowing here..."
1:38 - "What happens when another Georgie goes missing?"
"Okay, so this is where the big 'what if' is brought to the table. What if I give in to temptation? What if we all do? What will happen to this small, sleepy town if the path we've paved to sobriety and healthiness gets covered up again by our nearly uncontrollable desire to down a fifth of vodka and leap from the top of a motherfucking waterfall? You know what I mean?"
1:55 - "If we stick together, we win."
"Childhood is filled with false hopes and forgotten dreams. And you know, this is a horror movie. They will never 'win,' no matter how close they stick together, and no matter how many times they say 'no" to getting flung from the top of Derry Falls by their totally fucked up eleven-year-old friend. "
1:59 - The Sewer Crawl
"They traverse through the 'sewer,' hanging with the other town drunks, finally understanding how terrible they once were. They start to become disgusted by the 'sewer life' of extreme alcoholism. But in the background you can hear encouraging chants from the relapsed child. "You'll float too, you'll float too, you'll float too." It serves as a constant reminder to the ones who are yet to relapse of the satisfaction of floating downstream, entirely hooched up, after a kickass jump into the water from 200ft above."
2:02 - 2:06 - A Lot of Screaming and Running, etc.
"These kids are very afraid, and they're seeing all kinds of like, crazy shit because of their withdrawals and stuff. Well, I actually don't know that. This wasn't in the fucking book."
2:07 - The Realization
"There is an epiphanic moment where the child is in the room full of clowns, which, in this case, is obviously a reference to 'a town full of drunks who all gave-the-fuck-in.' He's realizing that he's been on the journey to sobriety totally alone this whole time, and that everyone, not just Georgie, was in total relapse mode except for him. Sucks, man. Really sucks."
2:17 - The Defeat
"The monstrous clown, a physical representation of his own alcoholism, jolts toward him hard. Like real hard. He screams and gives in, because what's the goddamn point anyway? If everyone else is chugging brews, pounding shots, and doing flips off ten-story rock formations, he might as well fuckin' do it too."
STEPHEN SUMS IT UP
"To be honest, 'It' was always about the struggles of dealing with childhood alcoholism in small town America. And while the allure of booze is pretty goddamn awesome at first, it can very quickly turn you into something very ugly. Something like a disgusting sewer clown, or whatever. I don't know. I was totally fucking hammered when I wrote this shit. Oh also, temptation always wins. No matter what. There's no stopping it, and we're all too weak to even care anymore. So, uh, yeah. You guys wanna get fuckin' tanked and throw each other off this bluff?"