Gerald’s Game (2017)

Gerald's Game Movie Review

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Gerald’s Game Movie┬áReview

Gerald’s Game is a 2017 survival film directed by Mike Flanagan and starring Carla Gugino. It is a flawed, but very good and memorable chiller.

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The people who were supposed to protect you from the monsters

turned out to be monsters themselves…

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Gerald's Game Movie Review

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Being based on a Stephen King novel, it is thus bound to have a great, original story and surely a woman being handcuffed to a bed and attempting to survive is a very authentic premise. And it was mostly well executed as well. Of course ‘It’ is a much better King adaptation of 2017 but Gerald’s Game is also surprisingly good and entertaining.

I respected the film for handling some very serious issues. Yes, it made for one quite uncomfortable viewing experience, but it also made for a surprisingly powerful feminist picture which resonated with me in the end.

So Jessie is the main character and once she gets handcuffed and her husband dies during their sex adventure, she is all alone and has to survive on her own. But not only do we see her struggle to survive, but also her examination of everything that led to that moment – she reconciles with being a victim of child abuse and she realizes that her husband has always been terrible. This film definitely is a very deep character study and not just your typical horror thriller.

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Gerald's Game Movie Review

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However, there lie a couple of problems. Because the film is based on a book, some scenes are so obviously book-related that it was distracting. Yes, they mostly managed to spread the film to an hour and a half without it being boring by adding the flashbacks and her husband and adult as well as child self talking to Jessie. But some of those scenes featured too much dialogue and were not really meant for cinematic treatment. Let’s just say that it is instantly recognizable as a book adaptation which is never a good sign.

Gerald’s Game is well filmed and I liked the choice with no sound as it added to the suspense. The film is never really terrifying and is way too gory and disgusting with the dog eating her husband being overly shown, but I liked how it was more of a psychological thriller instead of pure horror.

The twist at the end with the “death figure” was actually incredibly intriguing and that final scene was so powerful emotionally and in terms of delivery from the actress and how it was shot. I loved that aspect here and I really liked that the ending was prolonged.

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Gerald's Game Movie Review

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The dialogue is for the most part smart and quite good, but sometimes silly and too on-the-nose and typical for this type of film. As for the performances, Bruce Greenwood is sometimes too theatrical, but mostly quite good and creepy in the role. But this is of course Carla Gugino’s show and she absolutely excelled playing this role. This surely is a breakout role for her as she showed incredible range in a very demanding role and delivered what is definitely one of the best and most underrated female performances of the year.

Gerald’s Game has too much dialogue at times, too much gore and some pacing issues, but it is for the most part a very strong Stephen Kind adaptation with memorable thrills and plot points and a very offbeat premise. But it is also a character study and a very powerful and resonant one. Carla Gugino gave a fantastic performance in a breakout role. It is definitely the most underrated performance of the year.

My Rating – 4

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Posted in 2010s, 2017, FILM DECADES, Horror, MOVIE REVIEWS, Thriller and tagged , , , , , , , .

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