The Crate

The Crate

The Crate is a short story written by Stephen King and first published in Gallery magazine, July 1979. It was later published as the lead story in the Science Fiction anthology Fantasy Annual III (1981, Pocket Books, ISBN 0-671-41272-8) edited by Terry Carr. In 1982 the story was adapted to the silver screen as a segment in the movie Creepshow, starring Hal Holbrook in the lead role of Henry Northrup.

Plot introduction

It concerns the discovery of an old wooden crate, marked from an 1834 arctic expedition, beneath the basement stairs at the fictional Horlicks University by a janitor. Dexter Stanley, the school's biology professor, has a look at it and they open it up to discover it contains an ancient monster. The creature kills and eats the janitor as well as Stanley's grad student Charlie Gereson, and Dexter flees to the home of his friend, English professor Henry Northrup. He tells Henry the whole story, and Henry believes him, and sees the crate-dwelling monster as an excellent way to rid himself of his verbally abusive, alcoholic wife, Wilma.

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

The story was adapted into movie form, as a segment in the film Creepshow. Although there are numerous changes, the film version remains remarkably faithful to the written source material. The changes include the appearance of the monster, described as a small and wolverine-like in the story but is clearly ape-like in the movie, and the janitor, unnamed in the story, is called Mike Latimer. Also, the story ends with Henry disposing of the crate in a 50 foot deep lake, with the monster chained up inside safely securing it, apparently leaving no open ending, but the movie does things differently, ending the segment with the beast destroying the crate and escaping.

External links

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