Try Forgetting Pennywise The Clown's Unsettling Backstory, Just Try

Courtesy of Warner Brothers
While watching the remake of Stephen King's It, you’ll be too busy physically jumping out of your seat to consider the origins of Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgård). Instead of wondering what “It” is, you’ll be yelling at Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) to not talk to strangers, and to definitely not put his hand in the sewer.
Only after the movie’s over and your heart has stopped thumping will you start inquiring into the supernatural spine of the movie. It dives right into the present day, and doesn't explain who Pennywise was before he began preying on the children of Derry, Maine, in the year 1989. After his younger brother mysteriously disappears, Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) and his friends — the Losers Club, as they call themselves — track down the monster responsible.
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Skarsgård, who plays It, said we can expect the sequel to address It's being to a greater extent.
"It’s a different story, but I’m excited to delve in deeper to the character as there’s more exploration for who Pennywise is…And I think that’s what I wanted and that’s where I want to go for the second one, to delve into the psychological and metaphysical spaces of this transdimensional being," Skarsgård told Metro UK.
Before that transdimenional creature takes the spotlight in a sequel, here's what you need to know about the monster's creepy origins before seeing It, out this Friday.
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What is It, anyway?

It isn’t really a clown. It is a demonic entity far older than its current home of Derry, Maine — and far older than the universe itself.

Before our universe was created, It existed in a realm called the Macroverse, along with its primary enemy, a giant turtle called Maturin. The Turtle is locked in an eternal battle against It — symbolizing creation against consumption. Both It and the Turtle themselves were created by Gan, the locus of all beings. Stephen King likes creation myths.

The wise, kindly Turtle created our universe, and carries the world on its back. In Stephen King’s novel It, Maturin communicates with Bill, the leader of the Losers Club, and helps the Losers Club defeat It by lending them strength.
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It comes in many shapes and sizes.

Most iconically, It takes the form of Pennywise the Clown, whose real name is actually Bob Gray (anticlimactic, honestly). King originally chose It to manifest as a clown because he thought clowns are what scared children "more than anything else in the world.” In order to accomplish its goal of murdering children and feasting off their flesh and fear, It also takes on forms specific to a person’s fears; for example, in the movie, It takes the form of a flute player from a painting that's always scared Stanley (Wyatt Oleff).

When It retreats to the sewers, It turns into a massive, pregnant spider monster, which supposedly is the closest approximation to its truest form. Nevertheless, we’ll never know what It actually looks like. Humans can’t comprehend It's true inter-dimensional figure — more on that in a bit.

The kids of the Losers Club recognize It takes many forms — that's why they call it "It," and not Clown.
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It doesn’t actually live in the sewers.

The kids of the Losers Club correctly trace It back to a well in the center of town that connects with the sewers. It lives in the sewers in an earthly sense, but It actually resides in a dimension called the Deadlights, incomprehensible to the human mind and imagination.

Shapes and objects don’t exist in the Deadlights. Instead, It, and all other residents of the deadlights, are comprised of glowing orange lights. If a person stares into these lights, he or she immediately goes insane.
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Oh, so this explains why no one’s investigating those missing kids.

It has a ton of super powers very convenient to a hellish beast bent on instilling fear in children: shapeshifting, regeneration, telepathy, invisibility.

Perhaps its most concerning power, though, is that It controls the entire town of Derry. Adults can't see It or its tricks, like floating balloons and painting the bathroom with blood. Then, It can manipulate people’s minds so that when a child disappears, people simply forget. All of those past years of violence? Simply forgotten.

It especially shrouds itself from adults, and preys on children, who are more easily frightened. It likes to “salt the meat” with children’s terror.
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This isn't the first time It preyed on the children of Derry.

It first emerged from its subterranean hovel in the year 1715, and has lived on a 27 to 30-year hibernation cycle ever since. It was responsible for an explosion in the Kitchener Ironworks that killed 108 people, 88 of whom were children. It was involved with a white supremacist's destruction of a nightclub with a Black clientele.

In the book, It can also be awoken by an act of violence. The book begins in the year 1957, after a boy is beaten to death by his stepfather. The violence wakes It up.

Because It manipulates people’s minds, most residents of Derry don’t dwell on the massacres.
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