IT: Chapter Two brought back the Losers to face Pennywise one last time, but before they could finally defeat the creature, they went through a couple of nightmares brought by IT’s shapeshifting abilities - just like in IT: Chapter One. Stephen King’s novel IT was published in 1986 and introduced readers to a group of kids self-named “The Losers' Club”, as well as an evil, shapeshifting entity living in the sewers which the Losers decided to name “IT”. This creature fed on humans and their fears, especially children as their fears are less complex, and used its shapeshifting abilities to catch its victims. IT could take any form, but its preferred one was Pennywise, the Dancing Clown.
The novel was adapted into a miniseries in 1990 with Tim Curry as Pennywise, and was recently adapted into two movies, with Bill Skarsgård playing the nightmarish clown. Staying true to the source, IT: Chapter One and IT: Chapter Two featured many shapes and forms of IT that went beyond Pennywise, although the films took some liberties to better adapt the story (and with that, IT’s transformations) to the settings (1989 in the first film and 2016 in the second).
IT: Chapter One covered the first part of the novel, following the young Losers and their first encounter with IT, and IT: Chapter Two caught up with the group 27 years later, after the creature awoke and created chaos again. Some of the forms IT took on the first film re-appeared in the second, but in general, IT: Chapter Two took it a bit further with more elaborate transformations. Here’s everything Pennywise transformed into in both films.
All Of Pennywise’s IT Chapter One Transformations
Pennywise is the first form viewers are introduced to in IT: Chapter One, when young Georgie Denbrough is enticed by it and killed in 1988. The film then jumps to the following summer, where Mike Hanlon encounters the clown, which seconds later transforms into two people being burned alive and trying to escape from the butcher’s shop. In the film version, Mike’s parents died in a fire when he was a child, and that memory is his main source of fear, hence why IT used it against him. This transformation could also be a reference to the Black Spot, a nightclub mentioned in the book, which black soldiers attended. It was burned down by the Maine Legion of White Decency, but Mike’s father, William Hanlon, managed to escape (thanks The Shining’s Dick Hallorann). Once in a safer area, William saw IT in the shape of a giant bird seizing a member of the Legion.
Back to the film, IT appears to Ben Hanscom at the library as a headless, burned body. This is the body of one of the victims of a fire during an Easter event in which many children died, a part of Derry’s grim history that Ben was reading about at the library. IT later takes the shape of a deformed woman with a flute from a painting at Stanley Uris’ father’s library – a painting he had been terrified of since he was little. One of the bullies, Patrick Hockstetter, gets his dose of scares too when looking for Ben in the sewers, as he’s chased by a group of zombies before being killed by Pennywise.
Perhaps the most disgusting transformation in IT: Chapter One is that of the leper, which appears to Eddie on his way home. Eddie is a germaphobe and hypochondriac, and the leper was the representation of everything he was constantly avoiding. Bill’s encounter with IT comes in the shape of Georgie, before being chased by Pennywise itself. Bill was tormented by grief and guilt over Georgie’s death, which IT used to its advantage in both films.
When the Losers enter Neibolt House, IT appears as Betty Ripsom, luring Richie and Bill into a room while Eddie is drawn into an opposite one. Once separated, the leper goes after Eddie once more, making him fall through a hole upstairs and break his arm. Pennywise briefly takes the shape of Eddie to bring Richie into a room full of clowns, his biggest fear, before jumping out from a coffin. IT once more takes the shape of Eddie when his head pops out from a mattress, spitting some acidic substance in front of Bill and Richie.
In order to make Henry Bowers its ally, Pennywise appears as part of a children’s TV show. The clown appears once more to kidnap Beverly, prompting the rest of the Losers to venture into the sewers. Once there, Stan is attacked by the deformed woman from the painting, while Beverly is rendered catatonic with the deadlights. IT once more appears as Georgie to trick Bill, who shoots it in the head. After the Losers show Pennywise they’re not afraid anymore and are ready to fight it, the clown takes some hybrid forms to try to scare the group: Pennywise/burned arms for Mike, Pennywise with the head of the woman from the painting for Stan, Pennywise with spider legs, Pennywise with the head of a mummy for Ben, Pennywise/leper for Eddie, and Pennywise with the head of Bev’s abusive father for her.
Although not exactly shapes taken by Pennywise/IT, the creature relied on illusions to provoke fear in its victims, such as in the bathroom/blood scene at Bev’s house and the half-eaten body of Betty Ripsom hanging behind the “Not Scary At All” door at Neibolt House.
All Of Pennywise’s IT Chapter Two Transformations
Once more, the first shape is that of Pennywise, which kills Adrian Mellon after he's beaten by a gang and thrown off a bridge into the water. IT’s next appearance is at the Chinese restaurant, when the remaining Losers reunite, although this scene falls more into the aforementioned category of “illusions”, as the waitress doesn’t see what the groups is seeing. IT creates chaos by hiding different monstrosities inside the fortune cookies, such as a spider with a baby’s head, an eye, a one-winged bat, and an unborn bird covered in blood. Meanwhile, at Juniper Hill Asylum, a mentally disturbed Henry Bowers is visited by IT in the form of Patrick Hockstetter’s zombie for.
When looking for their totems for the ritual, Beverly goes back to her old home, where she meets an old lady called Mrs. Kersh – actually Pennywise posing as the new resident of the house. Ben goes to Derry’s high school to look for his totem, where he has a flashback of one of his encounters with IT in 1989, where it took the shape of Bev with fire hair. Eddie goes to the pharmacy, where he also has a flashback of an illusion IT made for him there, where his mother was attached to an operating table and attacked by the leper. Back in the present, the leper attacks Eddie again. Richie recalls a time in 1989 when he was attacked by the Paul Bunyan statue (a scene taken from the book), and back in the present, IT appears as a zombie Adrian Mellon before coming down from the statue as Pennywise. IT takes Adrian's form to taunt Richie about his "dirty little secret," as Adrian was beaten for being gay, and Richie’s secret is that he's also gay and in love with Eddie.
When the Losers go back to Neibolt House to fight IT, the creature takes the shape of Stan’s head with spider legs, as an homage to John Carpenter’s The Thing. IT later takes its infamous spider shape, only in this version the spider's upper body still looks like Pennywise. It then sends each Loser into their own illusions/nightmares: Bill is thrown to the water, and when he comes out, he’s in his childhood home’s basement, confronted by “Georgie” and the young version of himself. Bev is sent to the school’s bathroom, which starts filling up with blood as her bullies and abusers (Gretta Keene, Henry Bowers, her father, and her husband) try to open the door to get to her. Ben is thrown into the clubhouse, which fills up with dirt, with Pennywise trapping him there.
The deadlights appear once more in IT: Chapter Two, this time hypnotizing Richie. IT’s final form is the clown/spider hybrid, which the Losers manage to shrink, allowing them to take out its heart and finally kill it. As previously mentioned, IT’s preferred victims are children because their fears are simpler (a clown, a mummy, a painting, etc), but adults have more complex fears, prompting it to rely on illusions more than on proper transformations. Still, the creature managed to provoke fear in the adult Losers, but it wasn’t counting on the group being wiser and braver than last time. Unlike the original story, in the film the Losers’ memory of IT and all the events remain - so some of those awful images will most likely stay with them for years.