Stephen King is enjoying something of a renaissance this year with the remake of ‘It’ breaking box office records and a couple of new movie on Netflix.
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One of those is entitled ‘Gerald’s Game’ and – spoilers from now on – it tells the story of a woman who gets handcuffed to a bed for some kinky sex with her husband but is left stranded there when he suddenly dies of a heart attack. Sounds good so far, but probably doesn’t sound like there’s going to be a scene featured in it that’s so gruesome it’s causing people to pass out, right? Wrong.
Obviously it’s pretty important that the protagonist Jessie releases herself from the cuffs and as time presses on, she realises that the only way to do this is to use a shard of glass to slice her skin off so that she can slip it out of the cuff. In order to do this, she smashes a glass and sticks the largest piece into the wall, effectively using it as a saw to whittle her skin down.
She then slips her hand through the cuff, but it’s still pretty tight and this causes her tendons and bones to be revealed as the skin continues to peel off thanks to the friction. Apparently this is very graphic on screen and not for the faint hearted at all. Director Mike Flanagan explains how it affected him:
When I was reading it for the first time, I had to put the book down. It turned my stomach just reading it.
Visually, I don’t think we even took it as far as he took it in the book.
I think the hand/glove came just about completely off. For us we had it kind of flop back down afterwards because it was just too grizzly.
I heard people say: ‘Oh my God, it’s even worse than described’. I don’t think it actually is. I think the difference is, for all its description, the thing you never consider is the sound.
Even when I would look away while we were shooting it and when we were editing, you can’t get away from the sound.
It’s some of the most uncomfortable noise and we just crank it right up.
We just wanted to hear every little squish and pop and stretch. It’s gnarly stuff.
Someone fainted at the Fantastic Fest screening which is the coolest thing I’ve ever heard.
I suppose that is pretty cool if you’re trying to make a gross out horror movie, so fair play to Flanagan. If this is the kind of stuff you want to see on screen then it’s your lucky day, because ‘Gerald’s Game’ is already streaming on Netflix so you can literally watch it tonight. Enjoy.
For more Stephen King, check out the Castle Rock TV show as well. Dude has got so much going on right now.