One day I logged onto the Internet to find a movie called Gerald’s Game (2017) making the rounds. A Netflix original film that took one of Stephen King’s more unknown stories and turn it into something watchable.
Well folks, not only is Gerald’s Game passable, it’s downright one of the most F’d up movies from a pure psychological point of view I have seen this year. Director Mike Flanagan, along with co-writer Jeff Howard, bring to live a simple yet deeply panic stricken tale of self-realization.
The film centers around Gerald Burlingame, played by Bruce Greenwood, and his wife Jessie, portrayed by Carla Gugino. With a marriage that is on the decline, the couple decides to take a trip to a remote lake house in attempt to spice things up. It’s at this point you throw away the norm and instead take Fifty Shades Of Grey (2015) and flip it on its head.
With the backdrop of complete isolation, a classic King trope that I touched on in my review of It (2017), terror strikes at invariably the worst opportune time for Jessie. Chained to a truly precarious situation, the leading lady is face the fear of being eaten alive, being taken by a tangible psychopath, and/or being consumed by her suppressed inner demons.
I don’t want to put words into people’s mouths…but those just aren’t very fun options.
To say anything more about the plot of the film would be to give away too much.
Turning to Flanagan and his direction; he manages to use simple shots and clever cuts to create a sense of uneasiness. Going into Gerald’s Game, I was expecting a unique story being that it is based off a King book, but Flanagan is able to make it more by stripping away any of the excess fat that typical Hollywood horror tends to lean on.
There is only one scene that involves blood, and it’s the lack of such gore throughout the story that makes the one moment extensively squeamish. Flanagan doesn’t interject any loud score to accompany the red-storm, and nor does he cut away from the pain that the action sums to. It’s a moment where all you hear is pain and silence.
Stanko Rating: B