The marketers wanted to inspire dread—and sell tickets.
The latest adaptation of Stephen King’s horror masterpiece has smashed box office records, and the red balloon of the title creature Pennywise continues to be a cultural touchstone.
Stephen King teased the opening of the film by displaying a red balloon in the window of his New England mansion. The object later inspired a prank in Lilitz, Pennsylvania.
The pranksters turned out to be teenage girls looking to shock their friends.
The cops politely requested that the prank be stopped, admitting they were “completely terrified.” They were good sports about it, but it was clear they did not want this to turn into hysteria.