Written By: FZ
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Mike Flanagan
Writers: Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard
Producer: Trevor Marcy
Date Released: September 29, 2017
Carla Gugino as Jessie Burlingame
Chiara Aurelia as Young Jessie
Bruce Greenwood as Gerald Burlingame
Carel Struycken as “Moonlight Man”
Henry Thomas as Tom Burlingame
Kate Siegel as Sally Burlingame
Rating = 4/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Gerald’s Game (2017) is a story of a couple who has lost some of the old sparks in their relationship. To rekindle their mariiage, the couple decided to take a trip to their remote lake house. When they arrive at the lake house, they try to get a little bit creative by handcuffing the wife to the bed frame. Then in the sudden turn of events, the husband dies even before everything begins. It is this premise that the whole movie was based on, confronting her inner demons that only exists in her own mind.
There is not a lot of gore in the film, but the film created a lot of feeling of desperation and struggle. There are a few scenes where the viewers will cringe such as when a woman cuts her hand on broken glass and pulls it out of the handcuff. The handcuff graphically tears the skin of her hand and you see the muscle fiber being shredded. The scene is is very gory and grotesque as the skin becomes mutilated. The entire movie is very intense, especially the ending where Jessie tries to free herself.
The Grave Review
Gerald’s Game (2017) is an adaptation of one of Stephen King’s not so well known stories. Like many of King’s movies, he has the tendency to put together various books in the creation of a new story. The character being held captive to a bed is reminiscent of the film, “Misery”. The flashbacks to Jessie’s childhood involve a solar eclipse which is also a pivotal event in “Dolores Claiborne” movie. Gerald even calls the mangy stray dog “Cujo.” As expected, the story has a few twists and turns and can be intentionally made a little slow in the beginning to help build the characters’ backstory.
The film focuses on Jessie’s struggle personally, physically and emotionally. The plot portrays theses struggles through a series of hallucinations which at times seems uncalled for. However, it was the hallucinations themselves which made the film. It led to some disturbing flashback sequences to show sexual abuse she had suffered at the hands of the father as a girl during a solar eclipse. In the grand scheme of things, the feeling of being trapped presents an opportunity to explore their past to find the means to survive the present. It resonates a character’s internal thought process and what it is to achieve. The danger of having a ‘trapped person’ in the film is that there needs to be a steady flow of events happening to keep things interesting. One such example is presence of the stray dog which is constant throughout the film and is always considered a threat. The implication is that after it gets bored of eating the husband, it will eventually turn on her. As such, the film does a good job at keeping the pace despite the simplicity of the story.
There are only two main characters which filled the running time of the movie. Fortunately, the cast is formidable. Carla Gugino had a lot of screen time to herself but fills it believably, Greenwood never really gets a chance to play a realistic character as most his time is spent as a hallucination, but nevertheless he performed well. Aside from acting, the dialogue is excellent. The script fills the gap for the complete absence of any musical score. Despite any sound backing, the script is authentic and well written to sustain the viewer’s interest.
Overall, the film is a combination of outstanding performance and riveting plot. It is one of those movies that can easily be underrated due to limited performers. Nevertheless, the script is intelligent, complex and a movie worth watching.
For the above reasons, Grave Reviews gives Gerald’s Game (2017) four graves out of five graves.
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