31 Days Of Horror: “Gerald’s Game”



Title: Gerald's Game
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Posted October 4, 2017 by

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My second review in and I’m tackling yet another Stephen King adaptation. This time I watched the Netflix original “Gerald’s Game” written and directed by Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Hush) and starring Carla Gugino (Entourage, Sin City) and Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek, Thirteen Days). What starts off as a getaway for Jessie and Gerald Burlingame to hopefully reignite their stale love life quickly turns into Jessie fighting to stay alive, being forced to come to terms with the things in her life she’s always managed to push out of her mind, and struggling to find safety from both.

Gerald handcuffs Jessie to the bed, takes a Viagra, and proceeds to climb on top of her. When he begins requesting she starts screaming for help in a realistic manner, Jessie realizes that the only way her husband enjoys having sex with her is if he pretends he’s raping her which takes her out of the mood completely and starts an open argument between herself and Gerald that is a conversation they should have had a long time ago. Midway through their discussion, Gerald suffers a heart attack, leaving Jessie handcuffed to the bed without a phone, a key, water, or anyone that could potentially save her. When the hallucinations begin, Jessie must confront everything she’s tried to forget and now her journey isn’t only to survive physically, but mentally as well.

While Flanagan kept his script relatively close to King’s book, that doesn’t make the film any easier to watch. Flanagan does not write movies that stay close to the rules of the horror genre — which also makes him one of the better horror writers/directors — so “Gerald’s Game” was the perfect story for him to adapt into a feature length film. This story is anything but comfortable and it sets the scene for not only a “How-does-she-get-out-of-this” type horror film,  but also how does she deal with the realistic horrors of her past.

I’m not going to lie to you; “Gerald’s Game” is a very well done film, but it’s also one that is deeply disturbing and hard to watch. If you haven’t read the book and simply just watch the trailer and decide to give it a go, just know that you’re in for a film that is more than it appears. There’s Jessie dealing with sexual assault from a young age, dealing with a loveless marriage that took on an ugly role late, and then there’s the ending which was almost enough to get me to look away until it was over. At no point is the audience made to feel comfortable during this film, and while that is the point, Flanagan does tip-toe the line of making it too dark. While everything from the direction to the acting is superb, just remember I warned you before you started watching.

What I love about Flanagan’s work is he isn’t satisfied just giving you characters to kill off, or delivering violent scenes just for the hell of it. His scripts hold much more weight than your typical horror film and while “Gerald’s Game” is definitely the heaviest out of all of them, it still proves that Flanagan can do pretty much anything he wants and get away with it.

Watch at your own risk. Just know this film will leave you feeling worse than when you started it; I have yet to figure out if that’s what makes it good or not.



One Comment


    I watched the movie, it is true, it is very uncomfortable to watch, but thanks for the recommendation, I really like your log

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