Browsing Tag

Stephen King

Posted on November 6, 2017

Behind the Eclipse: Complicating Sexual Assault in Gerald’s Game

Guest Post

Mike Flanagan’s Gerald’s Game (2017) is, shot for shot, one of the most loyal Stephen King adaptations to hit the screen. The premise of the film and the novel (1992) is, for Stephen King, very simple. Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald Burlingame (Bruce Greenwood) travel to their secluded lake house in an attempt to save their failing marriage. Gerald’s solution to their sexual stagnation is a pair of handcuffs. Jessie plays along with his game, witnesses her husband’s fatal heart attack, and finds herself alone.  The terror of the story, like its protagonist, is confined. The book and the film are compelling, however, because the terror is not in the house or the ravenous dog feasting on Gerald’s decaying body. For Jessie, the fear is spawned by being bound and alone, with only the repressed terror of her past.

In Gerald’s Game, Stephen King crafts one of his most feminist novels. His original intention was to pair the story with Dolores Claiborne (1992) as they both take place at (the fictional) Dark Score Lake during a full solar eclipse. Unfortunately, the pairing never happened, but we did end up with two separate books that work well in establishing a purely feminine viewpoint within the Stephen King universe. In Gerald’s Game, Jessie Burlingame becomes our window into a world that has been darkened by broken trust and a darkened sun.

Read more

Posted on September 8, 2017

Not so Funny: The Peculiar History of the Creepy Clown

Guest Post

Clown hysteria may seem relatively new, but it is hardly a modern phenomenon. For many audiences over the centuries, the clown’s seemingly joyous face has detracted from something more sinister—some darker, hidden quality in the character. As a type, the creepy clown comes to us from centuries past. Like Pennywise from Stephen King’s IT, the clown is the monster that escapes a prior age, returning once again to stalk our nightmares.

Read more

Posted on November 20, 2016

Stephen King’s “The Raft” and the Stickiness of Objects

Dawn

Stephen King’s story “The Raft,” published in Skeleton Crew in 1985 and part of the horror anthology Creepshow 2 (Michael Gornick, 1987), is deceptively straightforward. Near the end of October, four teens—Deke, Randy, LaVerne, and Rachel—have a few drinks, smoke some pot, and decide to swim out to a raft in the middle of a deserted lake. Once they’ve all reached the raft, Randy sees a strange black shape in the water: it looks like oil—an oil slick is the closest he can come to naming it—but it’s not an oil slick; it’s too perfectly formed. Randy tells his friends that the one oil slick he has seen was “just this big sticky mess all over the water. In streaks and big smears.” He insists it did not look like the shape that is lurking on the lake: “It wasn’t, you know, compact.” This strange mass, which seems to sense their movements and their vulnerabilities, is a dense blackness—and the story tells of its relentlessly oozing over the teens, one by one, dissolving their flesh, pulling it off their bones, until only Randy is left. Read more

Back to top