Welcome to the Heavy Spoilers show, I’m your host Deffinition and this is the channel where we break down all the latest movies, new game releases, tv shows and comic books.
With IT Chapter 2 Now out for release Digitally in the U.S. it’s time to revisit one of my old videos to bring it up to date with all of the Pennywise appearances across the two films.
It’s crazy the amount of times that the character pops up in the background of scenes and hopefully, this video will make you go back and rewatch the films with a new appreciation for just how much work the creative team put into them. If you’ve already seen the first video I made and want to just skip to It Chapter 2 then I’ll leave that time coded in the description but there’s a couple of additions for the first movie too if you wanna stick around.
There will be heavy spoilers here so if you haven’t had a chance to watch either films and don’t want anything ruined then I highly suggest that you turn off now.
With that out the way let’s get into our breakdown of every time that Pennywise was hidden away in the background of a scene.
Every time Pennywise Was In The Background Of IT
Ok so the first appearance of Pennywise actually comes within the first five minutes of the movie, way before Georgie has his fateful run in with the killer clown in the sewers.
As Georgie makes his way down to the basement he passes several impressions of Pennywise and even almost bumps into the character directly when making his way down the stairs to the bottom part of the house. In addition to this, it looks like Pennywise may be a painter and decorator on the side as in his home there are several small images of Pennywise engrained into the wallpaper.
Just before Georgie goes down the steps into the basement in a blink and you’ll miss it moment that roughly takes place over two frames, you may also notice his small shiny eyes watching the young boy at the top of the stairs as he descends into the flight of steps.
Whilst he also appears later in the scene, hiding under the stairs, this is the first of many examples that show that he’s always one step behind his prey, constantly stalking them and waiting for the perfect moment to attack. Who knows how long he followed Georgie for during this scene but it’s enough to give you Goosebumps as you realise that once Pennywise has it’s eyes on you it’s difficult to get away.
The Library Scene
Up next is the Library scene with Ben in which there are several minor appearances by Pennywise before he makes his final play and tries to attack the character in the basement of the building. I guess the rule is, if there’s a killer clown after you, just don’t go downstairs anywhere.
Anyway, the first one comes in the form of the creepy librarian that slowly watches Ben as he reads about the history of Derry. Throughout the scene the mysterious librarian creepily stares at him, smiling as he digs deeper into what exactly may be going on in the town. It’s a really haunting scene and is something that I didn’t even pick up on my first couple of watches though the more you focus on the background of the scene, the more that you realise that Pennywise is slowly making his play.
I noticed comments last time of people saying it was just the woman doing her job but she’s also standing in the exact same position that the Balloon appears in in the next shot that leads Ben to go down into the Basement which cements for me that the character is indeed taking on her form.
Another blink and you’ll miss it moment also happens in this scene when Ben is flicking through the book, in a small frame that flies by so fast you have to screenshot it in order to see it, you will see the children’s Easter egg hunt that infamously ended in disaster. In the top corner of the photo when paused you will notice a blurry vision of Pennywise that shows he was the cause behind the massacre and has been in the town at several key points.
As we know from IT, Pennywise is often at the centre of many famous disasters in Derry and this confirms that he was indeed behind the many deaths in the Easter Egg hunt.
Ben Gets Bullied
Soon after this scene, Ben is caught by Henry Bowers and we see a balloon pop up in the back window of a car. During the attack as he calls out for help which goes completely unnoticed. This shows that Pennywise has a hold over the adults in Derry and is psychically controlling them so that they will appear nonchalant to any trouble that children in the area get into.
This is why Beverly’s father can’t see the blood in the bathroom and why in one of the film’s many deleted scene’s Bill’s father is unable to see that the basement is flooded after the encounter with Georgie and Pennywise down there. It’s also why no one really ever leaves Derry and the fact that most of The Losers do shows that they are highly driven people which plays into why they all go on to have successful careers.
Though the one in the car is rather obvious it adds a nice amount of subtext to the city and definitely lets you know that Pennywise has the ability to reach into pretty much every aspect of Derry.
The next one comes during the scene in which the Losers Club try and help Ben with his cuts. The characters are all leaning up against a wall with graffiti behind then which seems innocuous enough until, during the scene, Pennywise’s face appears in the markings watching them. The face definitely isn’t there earlier in the scene so it’s safe to say that this has been done with something else other than a spray can. It’s an awesome little addition that once again cements just how able Pennywise is with hunting his prey, he can follow them wherever he wants to and this makes him infinitely more terrifying.
A similar appearance happens in Chapter 2 as well with the character reappearing in the graffiti after not being there the first time that we pass it.
Up next is another rather obvious one but I thought I’d include it in case you missed it. During the scene in which the losers club all admit that they are afraid of something, we can see a clown on the stage in the background staring at the group and when Richie says that he hates clown, the figure reaches out menacingly to him with a balloon and from this point out just stares at him.
Yep, that’s Pennywise alright and this scene is given more weight in IT Chapter Two when Bill rides past the same location and Pennywise can still be seen poking out from under the car.
The TV Show
Beverly has a doll that looks similar to Pennywise and the character also makes an appearance in the TV show that seems to be plastered across every television screen in Derry. Whilst Pennywise definitely appears at the end, taunting Henry to kill his own father, if you go back and watch the movie you will notice that this show also appears in the rest of the film throughout the entire town. Firstly Eddie’s mother is sat watching it when the children go out, later when Beverly sneaks past her father, he too is watching it.
This is another way that Pennywise slowly seeps into the consciousness of the town and why so many kids end up going to the sewers to play.
You might also notice that sitting next to the presenter are the missing children from Derry who all have severe wounds in their body that probably indicate the brutal way that Pennywise killed them.
This show is just another way for Pennywise to hunt and we know that Pennywise is psychically pushing it into the townspeoples minds as we see Beverly sneak past it once and then when she goes past it again the tv is just playing static. Yikes.
Bob Gray Bottle
On the way to the house on Neobolt Street, before they enter we can see a bottle with Bob Gray on it that has a callback to Pennywise who famously used to use the moniker. Bob Gray is a reference to the serial killer Albert Fish who too used the pseudonym when carrying out his killings which involved kidnapping and cannibalism.
The final one for the film comes in the house on Neobolt Street in which Richie becomes trapped in a room full of Dolls. Not only is there a one that resembles the original IT portrayal by Tim Curry in the 1990s mini-series, there’s also one that looks like Pennywise on the right-hand side. Both sides of the room show the history of Pennywise and it showcases that the character was watching Richie far before he jumped out of the coffin to attack him.
Ok so that’s all of the ones for It Chapter One now let’s move onto It Chapter 2.
It Chapter 2 Hidden Pennywise
The first one we see in It Chapter 2 is during the introductory logos in which we can see the deadlights floating around the Warner Bros and New Line Logo letting us know that these will be major parts of the film.
This is Pennywise’s true form and it’s awesome that we kick start the film with a nod towards the creatures real appearance.
Another brilliant thing that It Chapter 2 does that the prior film didn’t is that it engrains the symbolism of Pennywise into several aspects of the town. The parade is littered with Red Balloons, and then there is a huge mass of them that appears under the bridge after he is attacked. This shot is then mirrored slightly later on when the girl leaves the bleachers as many of the members of the crowd wear red hats and due to their positioning they almost look like balloons arching down.
A Red Balloon also pops up behind Adrian at the Carnival before he’s attacked and the actor who plays Chris Unwin who takes part in the attack, Katie Lunman also played the part of Betty Ripson in the first film who was one of Pennywise’s victims.
This recasting was done intentionally as in Derry, those who die horrible deaths at the hands of Pennywise don’t get to go to an afterlife, instead their doomed spirits remain in the town, being reincarnated and then going on to live hateful lives. Mike mentions that it’s like an echo, bouncing back every 27 years and for those who don’t know, this character was sentenced to prison after the attack, having his life ended in some ways round about the same time that Betty had hers.
Anyway, this not the only recasting either as Eddie’s wife is also played by the same actress that played his mother in the first film. This was put in place to show that Eddie did literally marry his mother in some ways and there is a big part in the book that jokes about how similar his wife and mother are.
Other cameos include Stephen King and the Director of the film Andy Muschetti who appears behind Eddie during his return to the Pharmacy.
In Beverly’s home we see he run past a large painting of her and her husband Tom Rogan. Over Tom’s shoulder you can see the almost shadowy form of Pennywise almost controlling him. Pennywise could have corrupted Tom over the decades and this has lead to him abusing Beverly similar to how her father did.
It could also be a reference to the source material and 90s adaptation in which Pennywise controls Tom and gets him to kidnap Bill’s wife and bring her to his lair as a hostage.
Either way it’s a really creepy image that reminds us that you can’t escape Derry no matter how much you try got get away or forget.
When we are introduced to Henry Bowers we can see in his room images of Pennywise on the wall, most notably a red balloon which shows that he never really got it out of his head.
I have seen a lot of comments on the last video of people saying that Pennywise walks behind the fish tank during the restaurant scene but sorry everyone, I’ve watched it about 5 times and still couldn’t see it, honestly you don’t understand how many times I’ve seen this film.
Pennywise next pops up just before he makes his attack on the young girl. Similar to his attack on Georgie in the first film, we can see It just before It makes it’s attack, sitting hiding in the background as the girl chases the firefly.
The next major one we see appears during Mike’s vision of how to carry out the ritual of Chud. When viewing how IT came to Derry we can see a form of Pennywise standing behind Mike mimicking his movements and also in the scene we see the original form that it used to attack the Native Americans in the area which was a giant bird and a huge beast.
One of the forms for a split second looks like the original Spider-form that is seen at the end of the 1990 miniseries and in Mike’s room there’s actually a poster with Pennywise on which is promoting the Derry Canal Days.
There’s no reason Mike would wanna have up an image of the thing that scared him the most throughout his entire life so I have a sneaking suspicion that Pennywise put it there himself.
The next one is pretty obvious and was shown in the teaser trailer for the film. This is Bob Gray who in the scene we discover was a victim and alter ego that Pennywise adopted at the start of the prior century in Derry. This call back to the bottle from the previous film is pretty nice and there’s also some hints that Pennywise is in the room just before Beverly enters it including the door which says Marsh before it changes to Kersh before Beverly knocks and Bill Skarsgard’s voice which can be heard answering the door and asking who’s there.
This shows that Pennywise probably made it’s play at the last second and jumped there, creating the illusion just before Beverly knocked.
The old woman also pops her head round the corner several times and does a walk like when you get out of the shower without a towel.
Richie At The Arcade
When Richie Revisits the arcade we can see a torn poster behind him that has the words ‘It’ ripped into it and when the character goes outside he gets passed a Funeral Program that not only has his face on it but also Pennywise’s on the back.
It’s a blink and you’ll miss it moment that lasts about a frame but it’s another amazing little easter egg.
When Ben revists the school we also get a hint that Pennywise is infact using Beverly’s form as it’s shadow appears infront of the projector before there is seemingly a fake out and we see that it’s just Bev. In hindsight we know that this was indeed the character, popping up to unnerve him before quickly changing its form to try and get Ben to let his guard down and even when we go back to the shadow after he sees its Bev it still looks exactly like Pennywise does.
I guess you should never go to Summer School or whenever this was that Ben attended whilst also fighting the creature, making friends and building an underground bunker…yeah some of these retcons don’t work.
The Fun Fair
Anyway, when Bill chases the boy that now lives in his old house at the funfair in order to save him from the snatch of The Killer Clown, we can see several elements of the funhouse that feature the 1990s miniseries Pennywise played by Tim Curry.
They’re not your typical punching bag as they almost knock Bill off his feet when banging into him showing that Pennywise always packs a punch.
Also before Bill finally catches up to the kid Pennywise walks behind him at several moments and even appears right over his shoulder at one point. It’s pretty scary and this scene definitely holds a lot more weight knowing that Pennywise was stalking him the entire time throughout the house of mirrors. Yeah I’m never going in one again.
Beverly In The Bathroom
And finally at the end of The Movie when Beverly is in the Bathroom, against the wall we can see a graffiti version of Pennywise pressed on the wall of the stall. This isn’t in the stall in the first film when Beverly sits in there and is tormented by Greta the Bully so it looks like this was later added by the creature in order to leave an impression.
This crudely drawn kids version of the character lets you know that Pennywise will always be a part of Derry one way or another and is a nice little squiggle that holds a lot more weight to it than a simple drawing.
We can also see the words ‘Big is what It Seems’ which yeah, re-read it, ‘Big is what IT seems’ which of course plays into the ending of the movie in which they overcome the character by showing that they are mentally stronger than it.
This final easter egg is a nod to Maturin, the giant space turtle that is basically the opposite of Pennywise that in the book helps The Loser’s Club defeat Pennywise by guiding the characters psychically.
There’s a lot of Turtle references throughout both movies but that’s definitely for another video.
And that’s every time that I noticed Pennywise popping up in the background of a scene in the film. Obviously, I’d love to hear your thoughts on these, did you notice them and have you spotted any more? Comment below and let me know!