First there was Stephen King's novel which fully explored the idea of a demonic presence which terrorizes all the children in the fictional town of Derry. The novel brings together the mystical being of Pennywise, who delights in frightening people by exposing them to their greatest fears.
The original 1990 mini-series of It put faces to names by showing the infamous Losers Club show off against the demonic clown itself. This is also allowed fans to see the legendary Tim Curry portray Pennywise as one of the most frightening characters ever on film. There is no doubt that watching this film created numerous cases of Coulrophobia - the irrational fear of clowns. If fans listen closely, they are still able to hear Curry's haunting sounds of "Beep beep."
Now, 27 years after the TV series (which Pennywise fans will find very ironic), Andy Muschietti's adaptation allowed a new generation to be terrified by Pennywise. Bill Skarsgård's transformation into the classic movie villain. A first look at Skarsgård was so highly anticipated that the film's first teaser trailer broke records for online views, with 139 million views in a single day.
Pennywise may be one of the most frightening villains in all of cinema, and the upcoming sequel looks to further solidify this is creature into the nightmares of its viewers. While many just think that Pennywise is just an evil clown, there is so much more to the demonic beast than is widely known. Given Stephen King's rich backstory that he has developed for the entire "Macroverse," there is a lot to learn about Pennywise's true form. The only question remains is - who is brave enough to learn about it?
Here are IT: 20 Weirdest Details About Pennywise’s Body.
20 It's Gender Is Unknown
Pennywise may look like a male clown, but it is not 100% confirmed what is underneath that clown outfit. Despite being portrayed by actors Tim Curry and Bill Skarsgård, the evil clown's gender has never been confirmed. Pennywise never confirms its age, and is never usually a topic of discussion. However, when analyzing things closely viewers realize that there is ambiguity.
Upon transforming into various forms to terrify The Losers Club, Pennywise turns in to a pregnant female spider in the novel.
This leads several of the children to believe that they are facing a female. Given all of the scary visuals which Pennywise has given viewers, there shouldn't be as much concern with its gender. Fans should be more concerned about keeping their screams contained throughout the films.
19 It May Be Named “Bob Gray”
Watching Pennywise is frightening enough, but taking a look inside its mind is beyond scary. At one point during the novelization of IT, the reader gets a chapter which is written by Pennywise itself. Through this chapter, fans see Pennywise refer to itself in a different way than before.
Instead of calling himself "It", he refers to himself as "Bob Gray." At no other point in the novel is there a character in Derry named Bob Gray, which adds even more mysteriousness to the entire situation. Is Bob Gray someone that Pennywise took over a name from? Or is it a former resident of Derry which Pennywise took out? Since Pennywise isn't one to dive too deep into its motives, some things will be left unknown.
18 It Hibernates Like An Animal
In order to gather up its strength to attack the town of Derry, Pennywise needs its beauty sleep.
There are many parallels between Pennywise and a wild, carnivorous animal.
They both enjoy hunting for food and can swallow their prey whole. They also take their time to rest prior to attacking their prey.
Thankfully, Pennywise is not awake to attack the people of Derry every single day. In betweenits attacks, it hibernates to recuperate its strength, and only awakes every 27 years. Once it has regenerated its strength it returns to attacking residents, but history shows that it is regimented in hibernating. Perhaps if the Losers Club were able to find where it was hibernating, it could spare the waiting game.
17 It Enjoys The Taste Of Fear
Pennywise has the strength to very swiftly take out its victims whenever it chooses. However, it chooses not to and only feasts after it has sufficiently terrified them. Why is that the case?
Pennywise uses fear as a method to "salt the meat" of its victims. Pennywise's sick game of cat and mouse is a means to terrify and make the meal taste better. In its own words, Pennywise will "feast on your flesh as I feed on your fear," which means that fear is jut as important as feeding himself. Further evidence says that it may not even be able to eat its prey if they do not fear It. During his final encounter with Beverly, she states that she is not afraid of it and thus it doesn't eat her. Too bad that Pennywise is far too frightening to ignore.
16 It Can Communicate Telepathically
Meeting Pennywise face-to-face would be scary enough, but having it consume your mind is unimaginable. As a way of further frightening potential victims, Pennywise has shown the ability to manipulate them psychologically. Instead of appearing and frightening his victims all the time, It also enjoys manipulating them by speaking to them internally. For instance, it could have appeared to Henry Bowers directly. However, it chose to manipulate him by appearing on a television that only Bowers could see.
While any other movie monster would have coerced their prey physically, Pennywise has the ability to do things very differently.
This mystical way of manipulation is just another thing that sets Pennywise apart from any other scary clown. This is just another way that he "salts to meat".
15 Its Creepy Smile Is Not CGI
What makes a clown so frightening? Some say it is the makeup which hides their appearance, while others chalk it up to their general level of creepiness. Most people however point to a clown's never-ending happiness which sends chills up their spines. The main question is - what is a clown hiding behind their smile?
In the case of Pennywise the Dancing Clown, viewers know that there is nothing good behind his curled lips. Bill Skarsgård worked tirelessly to perfect the iconic creepy grin. Knowing how important Pennywise's appearance is to the tone of the film, he wanted to ensure he was as unsettling as possible. This included coming up with a smile that he could reproduce on command, without the help of technology.
14 It Does Not Come from Earth
Where exactly does a demon who takes the form of a dancing clown come from? While there are plenty fans who are interested, there are many others who are too terrified to look any further. Thankfully for the latter, the horror master Stephen King has developed a rich backstory for Pennywise. While the latest film did not explore any of the inter-dimensional themes from the novel or original film, it has been discussed as a plot point in the upcoming film. This means that the mainstream audience will learn that Pennywise is not from Earth.
It is allegedly an alien from another dimension.
This concept called "the macroverse" has been explored in the Dark Tower series. While certainly too evil to be considered human, adding an extra-terrestrial layer onto Pennywise makes him even more frightening.
13 It Can Speak Swedish
What is a possible way to make Pennywise even more scary? Perhaps by not being able to understand the things that he is saying. Pennywise is usually very forthcoming in his intentions and lets his victims know exactly what he will be doing. However, there are certain points during It where he is not speaking English.
This is due to Bill Skarsgård being given the creative license to incorporate his own Swedish background into the character. At various points in the film, Pennywise appears to be speaking under his breath in a way that the audience cannot hear him. If someone were to listen closely, they would be hearing Skarsgård speak his native language.
The vast majority of the North American audience is not able to understand Swedish. By adding in this additional level of unfamiliarity, it serves to make Pennywise even more frightening.
12 It Chooses Who Can See It
Children and adults in horror films do not always see the same things-- especially when it comes to a dancing clown who targets the young. Pennywise knows that if the adults of Derry were to get involved, it would be defeated more swiftly. Since no adult claims to see it, this means that Pennywise has the ability to choose who can see it.
This is an incredible advantage, as it allows It to retain its mythical status in the town.
While most of the adults in the town are certainly not the greatest people, their assistance would have been helpful. As most of the children in Derry would say - who would believe a kid? Especially if the story is about scary clown with sharp teeth.
11 Inspired By Ronald McDonald
While in the market for a new book series, Stephen King was searching for a villain who would be considered frightening by everyone. What he landed on was a universal fear of most children everywhere. In King's own words, "What scares children more than anything else in the world?’ And the answer was ‘clowns’."
Who exactly was the inspiration for creating Pennywise the Dancing Clown? None other than the King of McDonald-Land himself, Ronald McDonald. While the comparison of their makeup certainly holds up, the inspiration came from a plane ride that King was on. Who should sit beside him but someone dressed as Ronald McDonald himself, and it was his inappropriate behavior which led to the character's incorporation into It.
10 Pennywise Is It’s Favorite Form
It's ability to shapeshift into various monsters to terrify victims is well-documented. With forms ranging from classic movie monsters to specific fears from people's lives, there is no shortage of what It can turn become But it appears that Pennywise has one form he considers his favorite. While its other forms are certainly frightening, It seems to favor its Pennywise the Dancing Clown form.
Perhaps this is due to the world's adoption of Coulrophobia, the irrational fear of clowns.
Considering Pennywise's need to taste the fear of its victims, it stands to reason that It would choose a universally scary form. Pennywise also seems to relish in acting like a clown. His focus on the circus and balloons is intolerably scary, but he seems to enjoy the thrill of acting like a clown all the same.
9 Can Be Defeated By A Space Turtle
Looking for something to fully defeat Pennywise the Dancing Clown? Unfortunately, the only thing that can protect everyone is a cosmic space turtle. For those that have only watched the It adaptations, this entry may seem fully out-there. However, for those that are fans of Stephen King's other series, including The Dark Tower, they will recognize some of these concepts.
Pennywise's origin place, called The Macroverse, is also home to "The Turtle". The Turtle has been sworn enemies with Pennywise since they met, as they stand for two different things. Pennywise stands for destruction, while The Turtle is a creator of universes. While The Turtle has not appeared in the It universe directly yet, Stephen King has stated that Turtle is one of the only beings that can defeat It.
8 It's called “The Eater of Worlds”
He has been eating his way through the world's population for hundreds of years.
During his final encounter with the Losers Club in the original film, he refers to this nickname to taunt the group.
Pennywise says, "I am eternal, child. I am the eater of worlds, and of children. And you are next!" It has been well-documented by the children's research that Pennywise has been a secret resident of Derry for close to two hundred years.
By this point there have been numerous families who have suffered disappearances due to Pennywise's hunger, which has destroyed their worlds. It: Chapter Two will explore how the Losers Club has grown up knowing Pennywise will strike again, which shattered their worlds as well.
7 It Can Control Minds
Not only is Pennywise physically frightening, but It is also mentally scary as well. While It's ability to terrify people face-to-face is well-documented, there are also instances of it having the ability to mentally coerce others in to doing It's bidding.
What it did to Henry Bowers could be considered manipulation, but it also seems that Pennywise went even further. Henry Bowers eventually became possessed by Pennywise. This meant that any will that Pennywise had, Henry was forced to do. Even if it meant cruelty beyond what Henry would normally be capable of. Chapter 2 may show much more of this ability.
6 It's UnAffected By Disease
The Losers Club is constantly looking for Pennywise's weakness so they can end its reign of terror. Good thing they did not attempt biological warfare because it would not have worked. While chasing down the club's Eddie Kaspbrak, Pennywise turns into Eddie's greatest fear - an infection.
Pennywise changes its form to someone with leprosy and threatens to infect Eddie.
Usually, Pennywise has to deal with the weaknesses associated with its chosen form-- for instance, its werewolf form is susceptible to being vulnerable to silver bullets. However, the deranged clown is not affected by diseases, and can remain in this form without being harmed.
5 It Can Still Be Hurt By Normal People
Despite being a demonic being who is not of this world, Pennywise is not immune to basic forms of harm. Pennywise may not be easily defeated, but can be harmed much like other humans. As the newest film will explore, the grown-up Losers Club is looking for a way to defeat him once and for all. However, when they were children they were able to harm It more than thought possible.
Following a showdown at 29 Neibolt Street, Pennywise is poised to take out most of the group-- until Beverly Marsh bravely impales it with a piece of metal, causing him to retreat. Prior to this, none of the group had ever seen Pennywise hurt before. Now they know it can be harmed. The only question is - who is brave enough to take another shot?
4 It has a low pain tolerance
Not many people can say that they have harmed Pennywise before. However, those that have may notice something very interesting about the dancing clown. It certainly does not have a very high pain tolerance for a frightening demon. Each time that Pennywise is harmed during his encounters with the Losers Club, it does not respond with anger and rage.
Pennywise retreats once it has been hurt, removing itself from the fight.
For instance, when Beverly manages to impale it with a pipe, it does not pursue the group further, even though it has them cornered. Furthermore, once the group finally defeats It during their final encounter, It retreats into hibernation since they were able to harm it so much.
3 It Loses Powers When Victims Are Not Scared
There must be something that fuels Pennywise's powers. It's various abilities makes it one of the most powerful entities in horror film history. While the source of its powers is still unknown, It's main weakness has been revealed. If there is no fear present in its victims, It is unable to harm them.
When Pennywise has abducted Beverly, she states directly to it that she is not afraid. While this may seem like she is taunting It, she is actually subduing Pennywise completely as it does not take the opportunity to remove her from the equation. This is because Pennywise's strength is derived from when It is feared. Georgie was afraid, and so were Henry Bower's friends, and they got taken out quickly. Beverly was able to show she was not afraid, and was not harmed any more by Pennywise. Not showing fear around an evil dancing clown must be difficult, but it is the only way It can be subdued.
2 Castle Rock Crossover
Who is "The Kid" on Castle Rock? Since his first appearance in a jail cell below Shawshank State Prison, fans have been waiting to learn more about this mysterious figure. However, he may look more familiar if he had white makeup and orange hair. Bill Skarsgård's appearance on Stephen King's new series, which ties together much of his universe, adds a full-circle connection to the latest It film.
While the jury is still out on if Skarsgård's casting signifies Pennywise's presence in the show, the crossover is still notable.
There are plenty of theories on what his character represents, and many hope for some connection to Pennywise himself. If the presence of graffiti stating "Pennywise Lives" during an episode is any indication, there is still a possibility during season two.
1 It is Defeated By The Ritual of Chüd
Though not explored in the most recent film, the Losers Club has found a mystical way to finally defeat the evil clown. It appears that Pennywise cannot be defeated in the physical world, even though the group has tried many times before. The only way that Pennywise can be fully vanquished so that it will not return 27 years later is to engage in the The Ritual of Chüd.
The ancient ritual of a psychological warfare involves entering Pennywise's mind in order to see what it is thinking. While this may be scarier than it sounds, it does weaken Pennywise enough in order to wound it in the real world. While the original miniseries did not explore The Ritual of Chüd, it remains to be seen if the new film will show off this secret ritual.
Do you know any other strange things about Pennywise's body in It? Let us know in the comments!