How Different Was 'Gone Girl's' Most Gruesome Scene In The Book?

Different methods. Same result.


If you checked out "Gone Girl" this weekend (and based on the box office results, there's a good chance of that), you probably have a newfound fear of box cutters and how they relate to your sex life.

We've already heard from the cast about how filming the scene was something like a military operation, complete with dozens of showers, but how did the gruesome death of Desi Collings play out in Gillian Flynn's book?

Most of what leads up to the deed plays out as we see it on screen. Desi takes Amy to his lake house, and over time she realizes that there's no escaping her "posh jailer." With Desi's mom as a presence in the novel, however, Amy is concerned that she might have an unexpected visitor. Things start really looking bad for Amy when Desi begins to starve her in order to get her back to "Amy circa 1987."

"He's thinning me up, he always preferred his women waify.... I am almost my normal weight again, and my hair is growing out.... Yes, it's all about my well-being, not that fact that he wants me to look exactly like I did before."

Desi is much more psychologically manipulative in the novel, instead of just plain creepy, and a veiled "threat disguised as concern" demonstrates that.

"If you ever left here and I didn't know where you were, I'd have to go to the police," he says. "I'd have no choice. I'd need to make sure you were safe, that Nick wasn't... holding you somewhere against your will. Violating you."

Amy comes to her wicked conclusion with an ominous, chapter-closing line.

"I thought I could control, Desi, but I can't. I feel like something very bad is going to happen."

The biggest difference between the two versions of Desi's demise is how it's depicted. David Fincher's movie keeps a close on eye Amy during the planning stages, showing us every brutal detail and unexpected use of an empty wine bottle.

The book's Amy only makes passing mention of her prep with the twine and bottle before Desi gets home and we see the first phases of her plan play out. The sex scene between the two is described in nauseating detail.

"I try to work up some tears because I know he imagines me crying with him the first time."

Here, where people familiar with the movie expect a quickly drawn box cutter, the book takes a more low-key path. Amy slips sleeping pills into the martini she insists on making for Desi. Everything that comes next is recounted after Amy's return home.

"Police have been dispatched to Desi's home, where they'll find him naked and drained, a stunned look on his face, a few strands of my hair in his clutches, the bed soaked with blood. The knife I used on him, and on my bonds, will be nearby on the floor...."

Flynn, when writing the scene for the screen, obviously took a more visual way to present the information she cleverly conveyed on the page, and the result is one of the more haunting images from movies in 2014.

"Gone Girl" is in theaters now. Buy the book here. It's worth reading even if you know the twists.

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