You are watching: What was it about
we all understand Pennywise is terrifying. Whether you prospered up top top Stephen King"s novel, Tim Curry"s iconic power in the 1990 miniseries, or just met the to dance clown via Bill Skarsgard"s unique however equally terrifying performance in Andy Muschietti"s two-part movie adaptation, the consistent through-line is that the creature recognized as the is one ungodly manifestation that our many primal fears. And one creepy clown. Yet what specifically is It? Well, that"s no super basic to answer, but let"s give it a try.
In both the book and also the films, It is an ancient alien creature, older 보다 civilization, and in King"s novel, older 보다 our universe. The feasts on the flesh of human beings simply because our fears are basic to manifest and also they make united state taste better. Follow to It, when humans acquired scared, "all the chemicals of are afraid flooded the body and salted the meat". This is why he prefers to feast ~ above children -- their fears are simple, pure, and powerful compared to the complex, pathological fear of adults. Basically, children are delicious. The hunger for tasty, tasty, beautiful are afraid is pretty lot the sole factor It return to Derry, Maine every 27 years to torment and feed on the townsfolk prior to retreating into a new cycle the slumber.
image via Warner Bros. / brand-new Line Cinema
that is physical form lives in our civilization as a shape-shifting manifestation of your worst nightmares, but in King"s novel things gain much, much weirder, Its true form is a Lovecraftian, faint demigod that resides in the so-called Macroverse -- an unnameable and unknowable malevolent force that considers itself Eternal. It"s mortal enemy is a good Turtle, a fellow resident the the Macroverse who, according to It, by chance belched up our universe in a fit of indigestion. It considers the tortoise inferior, yet the just other creature near It"s status. The turtle is believed to it is in Maturin, the exact same benevolent god-creature that components heavily into King"s "The Dark Tower" series. After ~ the Losers society bands together and also manages to hurt It because that the an initial time in its existence, throwing off the predictable bicycle of safety and security It has constantly known, It begins to are afraid for the first time there may be an even greater Other.
past Its physical kind lies what that calls the deadlights, a sea of terrible orange lights the drive most human beings insane ~ above sight. In the books, Bill nearly glimpses the deadlights and survives, however the only human to fully see the deadlights and recover is his wife Audra. In the film, it"s Beverly that glimpses the deadlights once Pennywise unhinges his jaw and also reveals a emergence at his true form. We also see subtle clues of the deadlights once Pennywise"s eye glow orange transparent the film, first when he terrorizes Mike and also again once he retreats come the Well house after the Niebolt street battle.
once Beverly is shown the deadlights, she soon goes catatonic and also dead-eyed, floating in Pennywise"s cistern until Ben resurrects her v a classic true love"s kiss, however once she does, she recovers quickly. In the films, glimpsing the deadlights don"t seem to have the same destructive effect the it walk in the novel, however there were some amazing side effects. In IT thing Two, we discover that Beverly was adjusted by the encounter, also when she couldn"t psychic it. She already knew how Stan died, finishing his wife"s sentence on the phone, and also as she describes later, she has actually seen castle all dice in her desires every night since leaving Derry. Those revolve out to it is in visions of the fates the await them if they fail come fight against It.
Richie also gets a complete blast that the Deadlights in Chapter Two, instantly quit dead in his tracks, the starts to float slack-jawed in the air. When the connection is broken, however, Richie additionally recovers quickly, unlike Audra"s in the novel, whose catatonic state lasts long after she and also Bill return house after the fight with It. Because that Richie, it"s unlikely the there would be lingering fallout from see the deadlights like there to be for Beverly because its influence seems come dissipate at the end of Chapter Two, permitting the Losers come remember each various other this time.
picture via new Line Cinema, Warner Bros.
as you more than likely would expect from a celestial creature, It"s powers are not restricted to embodying your worst nightmare driving people insane v his an are lights, however It is best known for Its shape-shifting abilities. Pennywise is only among Its forms. In the film, we additionally see It come to be a mummy, Beverly"s dad, Mike"s burn parents, the creepy painting lady, a decapitated boy, a leper, and also Georgie, and also in the book, that takes many more forms, most famously, the standard Universal monsters.
but It can also appear as lot grander and stranger spectacles. In the books, he strikes Mike as a giant bird, swooping with the continues to be of the Ironworks. Various other forms include a swarm the piranhas, winged leeches, and also of course, a gigantic spider laying her eggs in the Derry sewers. Muschiettie taken on that weirder side of that is manifestation in Chapter Two, where we witnessed the life 30-foot Paul Bunyan statue, the nightmarish creatures the crawl out of the fortune cookie in Jade that the Orient, and also the monstrous forms teased throughout the hallucinatory origin sequence.
it can likewise manipulate civilization into violent action, or sometimes, inaction that allows violence to continue. We see this in the film once Henry Bowers murders his father and sets out to death the Losers, as soon as the automobile drives by and leaves Ben helpless throughout Henry"s torment, and also in the way It has actually spread through the town"s background like a cancer corruption. In the book, Pennywise"s evil deeds room writ large in histories, flashbacks, and knowledge passed down to Mike from his grandfather.
In the first film, we acquire a glimpse that It"s far-reaching influence with Ben, who takes over Mike"s role as the resident background nerd. Ben describes Derry"s dark history, informing us that world die or disappear at six times the national mean in their town... And that"s simply the adult the children are worse. "Way, way worse." First, us learn about the Ironworks i m sorry inexplicably explosive in 1908 killing 102 people, including 88 youngsters who were participating in one Easter egg hunt. We likewise hear about the black Spot, a night club developed by and for regional black soldiers that was melted to the soil by a hate team in 1962 (1930 in the book).
Ben likewise passes on the tale of the charter for Derry township, which began as a beaver trapping camp in the 18th century (per the book). That crashed come the soil there countless years prior, yet It only started to feed once the Derry settlers arrived. All 91 settlers vanished, a la Roanoke, v no explanation. Over there were stories of a battle with indigenous Americans, yet no indications of an attack. All that was left was a bloody trail leading to the fine House. Together we later on learn, the Well house is situated in 29 Niebolt Street, wherein It lives.
photo via Warner Bros.
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There"s also a quick reference to the Bradley gang in 1935, and a bit much more details can be viewed on the wall mural outside the butcher shop (where the Losers often tend to Ben"s wounds). The Bradley gang were an infamous group of bandits that robbed and also killed many Derry shop owners prior to the townspeople rallied versus them and shot lock dead in the streets. In the novel, the story is pass on v creepy pharmacist #1, Mr. Keene and the publication is filled with many, many more instances of exactly how It has actually corrupted the background and town of Derry, native eating youngsters to inciting violent chaos, that fingerprints are almost everywhere the dark history of the town.
In Chapter Two, Mike is the male with the intel, the just Loser who remained in Derry and also kept his memory, and who spent the critical 27 year digging into Its mythology. Mike"s study leads him to a indigenous American people that live outside the Derry town limits -- outside of Its reach -- and also there, he has a vision of It arriving on earth, falling native the sky and also crashing into the Earth"s floor in the land the would become Derry. In that vision, we likewise glimpse the ritual of Chüd, which is claimed to defeat the creature. In the book, it"s a important insane procedure that requires metaphorically biting under one every other"s tongue and telling jokes until the loser laughs, and also it likewise sends Bill and also Richie into the Macroverse.
In Chapter Two, the ritual entails the collecting the totems from your forgotten childhood memories, which space then destroyed and also It is expected to be accumulated in a basket. However the ritual doesn"t really work, and also as Pennywise reveals, it never worked for the tribe either -- he slaughtered lock all. Ultimately, that is defeated by the unified of belief and display of strength from the Losers. Chapter Two continuous reinforces the template that "all things need to abide by the rules of the form they inhabit" (also true because that the mythology that the book, wherein it"s werewolf type was vulnerable to silver, etc.) That"s why Eddie deserve to choke It and also hurt it while It"s in the leper"s form.
v that in mind, the Losers try to force SpiderCrabPennywse into a smaller physical form, but when that arrangement fails, they realize they have the right to make It feel small, draining the of Its power by taunting It v Its weaknesses. As soon as Pennywise shrings under to the about the size of a giant baby, Mike reaches right into Its chest and pulls out Its heart, which the Losers to like in their hands.