Well, that was definitely one of the more unnerving movies I’ve seen this year.
‘Gerald’s Game’ starring Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood, is yet another thriller/horror movie adapted from a Stephen King novel. It follows a middle-aged couple as they go to their lake house in hopes of spicing up their marriage. But after Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) suddenly dies from a heart attack, Jessie (Carla Gugino) is left handcuffed to the bed and struggles to find a way to escape while slowly going insane.
To start off, this is yet another movie adaptation of a Stephen King novel and is also one of the best! One of the biggest positives is definitely the directing by Mike Flanagan, who also directed two of the biggest surprise horror movies of 2016 (Hush and Ouija: Origin of Evil). He manages to adapt the source material onto the screen with ease and it results in one of the most captivating isolated thrillers to come out in years.
The performances from the small cast are also great. Carla Gugino acts in what is easily her best performance to date as Jessie. For the majority of the movie, she is handcuffed to the bed and manages to give a tour de force performance as a woman tortured by both her past and the situation she is currently in. Bruce Greenwood is also terrific as Gerald. He does pull off a creepy yet sympathetic performance and also happens to be an interesting character with some questionable motives.
I should also talk about Henry Thomas, who appears in flashbacks throughout as the dad of Jessie. He manages to give one of the creepiest performances of the year and also shows us that he is an actor who should be getting more attention than he already has.
The production is amazing in ‘Gerald’s Game’ with a lot of beautiful stuff to talk about. The cinematography is first rate considering that most of it takes place in a bedroom, but it’s some of the best this year. One of the most beautiful yet disturbing scenes involves an eclipse and it is just beautiful to look at even though the context of the scene is completely messed up.
The script is also amazing. It builds and builds upon suspense and manages to keep the audience captivated all the way throughout. The dialogue feels real and because of this, the characters are relatable. For a movie like this, the script had to be good and it ends up being amazing.
The only real negative I had with ‘Gerald’s Game’ is the ending, which feels like a fourth act. What I mean by this is that what you’re expecting is in the three acts of the movie, but then it goes into an epilogue-style fourth act that could have been a different movie. It changes the tone very slightly and doesn’t fit in well. So, if ‘Gerald’s Game’ ended about ten minutes earlier, it would be a near perfect thriller but it isn’t because of the ending. Although I feel like it might be better upon second viewing, knowing where it’s going to end up but like I just said, it becomes a different movie.
Overall, ‘Gerald’s Game’ is a refreshing take on the isolated thriller genre that manages to be both a great adaptation of the source material and a great horror/thriller. With terrific performances, amazing cinematography, great direction and a creepy atmosphere, ‘Gerald’s Game’ is yet another great Netflix movie and is definitely not for the squeamish.