I screamed like a baby.
As you may already know, IT: Chapter Two is hitting cinema screens on September 6th and everyone is desperate to watch it, including me.
The sequel is a follow-up to 2017’s IT: Chapter One – which tells the story of several children who are terrorised by a nefarious clown known as Pennywise.
The film was one of the top grossing horror film of that year, grossing £575 million worldwide. Clearly, this creepy clown has a big fan base.
Fortunately for us, we were able to get a first look at what might go in Chapter Two – and, well – I hope you’ve booked your tickets because judging off this experience it’s cranking the horror up to eleven.
The free immersive experience is based at The Vaults in Waterloo, London and runs through the underground network of tunnels and rooms – which have all been transformed to resemble aspects of the new film.
As we walked in, we were met with a carnival style scene with various stall games, and, most disturbingly of all, a giant clown’s mouth we had to walk through.
However, before entering Pennywise’s fun house (and to the other Derry themed rooms), we had to win the privilege to do so by either hooking a duck or popping a balloon with a water gun. These clowns don’t just invite any ol’ person in you know.
Although I don’t know how worthy I was to enter as it took me at least five minutes before I could get the hook anywhere near a duck, never mind actually hooking the damn thing.
Either way, I still gained access (eventually).
After winning this ‘privilege’ we were encouraged to enter the clown’s mouth (and told that there was a safe-word if things got too much) where things went pitch black in an instant.
I was beginning to regret my decision…
The event was designed to give ticket holders the chance to follow in the footsteps of the Losers Club through disused tunnels and walk ways. There were nine themed areas, which all relate to the dark and petrifying things in Derry (where the film is set), including a replica of the abandoned house where Pennywise lives and the sewers where he stalks his victims.
Which I guess in this instance was us.
Recognise this place? Well we got to go inside…
If that doesn’t sound horrifying enough, the experience then re-creates iconic scenes with strobe lighting, flashing images and headphones.
At one point, we were asked to go through one of three doors marked ‘very scary’, ‘scary’ and ‘not very scary’. Naturally I picked the ‘very scary’ door before entering into a room of mirrors where Pennywise jumped out to scare the hell out of us.
We were then taken on a sewer tour – which seems mad because Pennywise loves to dwell down there – where an actor guided us around the labyrinth of pitch black sewers.
As our torches failed and a terrifying sense of dread loomed with ominous music, our old friend Pennywise edged closer and closer down in the tunnels before we ran for our lives, screaming at the top of our voices.
(A word of advice: Stick closely with your group, a lot of people are said to go missing in Derry…)
This was without doubt the scariest moment – I literally jumped out of my skin.
As I was wearing headphones and listening to the most atmospheric music in the dark , I almost had to remind myself that I was a journalist rather than someone in the actual film.
Thankfully, that was the end of it.
I’m going to be honest: the immersive experience was one of the most terrifying things I have ever endured. I mean, once you’ve won the entry ticket there is really no going back. You’re entering Pennywise’s home!
However, the experience did whet my appetite for the new film and now I can’t wait to see it.
Eeeek, I am so excited!
IT Chapter Two: The Vaults Experience is a free, ticketed event open to the public 31st August – 4th September.
IT: Chapter Two is released on UK cinemas on 6 September
Sophie Watson is unquestionably best known for her charming humour and always being right. Though she has dreams of becoming a bestselling author of a book she’ll probably never write, it was clear being a journalist was the easier option. When not writing for The Hook, Sophie spends her time thinking about pretty roses, long walks on the beach and any other romantic cliché. You can contact Sophie at [email protected]Follow