No ex­cuse for King

National Post (Latest Edition) - - WEEKEND POST - sa daF ah san Week­end Post

Stephen King is hav­ing a very big year, with not only film adap­ta­tions of The Dark Tower and It com­ing to the­atres, but a TV se­ries adap­ta­tion of The Mist hav­ing hit Net­flix this sum­mer.

And it looks like It has al­ready sur­passed ex­pec­ta­tions, open­ing this past week­end with the high­est-ever pre­view box of­fice for an R-rated film, hor­ror or Septem­ber re­lease, re­ports Va­ri­ety. It’s pulled in a mas­sive $117.2 mil­lion, mak­ing it the sec­ond big­gest open­ing for an R-rated film of all time, com­ing in just af­ter Dead­pool.

How­ever, there is one lit­tle thing the adap­ta­tion shied away from when it came to bring­ing King’s ma­te­rial to the big screen: a child orgy scene, which is re­ally the only way to de­scribe it.

In the 1986 novel, af­ter the group of kids (who call them­selves the Losers) at the cen­tre of the story man­age to fight off the creepy clown, they find them­selves lost in the sew­ers. Bev­erly, the only girl in the group, then in­forms them that the only way to get out is for them to have sex with her. What fol­lows is a very un­usual, rarely talked about scene that in­volves her hav­ing sex with each boy.

As it turns out, in Novem­ber 2013, King com­mented on the novel’s scene on his web­site’s fo­rum, (ac­cord­ing to Vul­ture): “I wasn’t re­ally think­ing of the sex­ual as­pect of it. The book dealt with child­hood and adult­hood – 1958 and GrownUps. The grown-ups don’t re­mem­ber their child­hood. None of us re­mem­ber what we did as chil­dren – we think we do, but we don’t re­mem­ber it as it re­ally hap­pened. In­tu­itively, the Losers knew they had to be to­gether again. The sex­ual act con­nected child­hood and adult­hood. It’s another ver­sion of the glass tun­nel that con­nects the chil­dren’s li­brary and the adult li­brary. Times have changed since I wrote that scene and there is now more sen­si­tiv­ity to those is­sues.” Here’s King’s fol­lowup state­ment this week, again via Vul­ture: “That sounds like my state­ment. To it, I’d just add that it’s fas­ci­nat­ing to me that there has been so much com­ment about that sin­gle sex scene and so lit­tle about the mul­ti­ple child mur­ders. That must mean some­thing, but I’m not sure what.”

Maybe it does, but that doesn’t make It’s child orgy scene any less dis­turb­ing, and sim­ply be­ing Stephen King and the “master of hor­ror” doesn’t ex­cuse that. In fact, both this year’s film and the 1990 minis­eries adap­ta­tion chose to ig­nore it.

There’s ab­so­lutely no won­der why.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.