GERALD’S GAME

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Well whaddaya know!? Another Stephen King flick! Here’s a little hint: There are many more King adaptations ahead this MASSACRE MARATHON. Will Netflix’s new Gerald’s Game live up to the box office titan that is IT or will it be a let down? Push on, dear reader…

Threat– the overarching theme of Mike Flanagan’s (Hush, Oculus) Gerald’s Game. How many threatening things can Carla Gugino’s (Watchmen, Wayward Pines) “Jessie” handle before she loses it? That question is answered not long into the 103min runtime. Jessie goes with her husband Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) on a romantic getaway designed to rekindle their lost flame but things don’t go as planned. Things take a turn for the worse when Gerald has a heart attack as they are preparing to get kinky, leaving Jessie handcuffed to the bed. When she realizes that there is no one around for miles she desperately tries to escape her fallen lover’s unintentional imprisonment.

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As Jessie’s fatigue sets in her mind begins to wander, causing hallucinations of various degree and dark memories to come flooding back. This brings me to my main criticism of the film which is how fast they reveal everything. Before the viewer even has a chance to decide what is real or is in Jessie’s head the answers are spoon-fed almost instantaneously. Even when the last “vision” is given time to manifest they still manage to screw it up in the end by over-explaining it all. Usually I am one to get pissed off at movies that leave many questions unanswered, but Gerald’s Game would have done well to favor the unknown.

 

MINOR SPOILERS

 

I was also disappointed with the lack of gore and frightening imagery, two VERY important horror movie ingredients. I was anticipating a brutal dog attack instead of Jessie just shooing it away, a more gruesome and zombie-like version of phantom Gerald, and less of a bright ending in general. I wasn’t a fan of the ending at all. It was so drawn out and thematically out of place, like trying to wedge a corner jigsaw piece into the center of a puzzle.

 

END SPOILERS

 

It was great to see Carel Struycken (Twin Peaks) again in a more sinister role. The overall acting was nothing special but not terrible either. I thought the story was fine the way it was, but I must admit I was never familiar with the book at all, so I am not too sure how close Gerald’s Game sticks to its source material. It is not a bad movie, but if all of the King-based films were under the spotlight, it certainly wouldn’t stand out from the lineup.

3 kinky pleasures out of 5

★★★☆☆

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