No excuse for King
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.