It’s odd that in August a Stephen King adaptation, Dark Tower, bombed and in September It has dominated. Then, at the end of the month, Gerald’s Game is released on Netflix and is another successful adaptation. Directed by Mike Flanagan, Gerald’s Game is horrifying and features terrific performances by the two leads.
Gerald’s Game doesn’t play around
Jessie Burlingame (Carla Gugino) and her husband Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) retreat to a remote lake house with intentions of spicing up their marriage. She is left stranded after being cuffed to the bed by her husband and his sudden death. Her fight to survive and break free and dealing with her past as her mind slowly drifts into insanity.
Carla Gugino gives an outstanding performance in this film. She exhibits so many emotions throughout the film and basically has to carry the entire thing. Gugino has to take her character into several areas and even plays a type of double role. Of course, that’s not to take away from Bruce Greenwood’s equally excellent showing as he gets more screen time then you’d expect from that plot synopsis. He actually manages to bring a few laughs to break the tension, but also plays a character that is easy to dislike.
I was unfamiliar with this story, but it supposedly was thought to be unadaptable as most of the story takes place in the one room with a character lost in their own mind. It’s to the credit of Flanagan and co-writer Jeff Howard for their ability to bring out her inner turmoil visually. The method they settled on not only makes the story more cinematic, but it adds some elements of suspense as her sanity is called into question.
This is a film that made me jump twice, look away in horror twice, and kept me hooked from the very beginning. It is not easy subject matter as her dealing with past trauma is disturbing. There is even a hulking monster of sorts that represents a visual that was only replaced by a horrific scene a little later in the movie. Gerald’s Game gets the Must See rating.