That was incredible. With a very intriguing premise I hoped for great things, and what I got was more, much more than I could have imagined. The less you know going into this film the better, trust me. Based on the Stephen King novel, Gerald’s Game is a horror/mystery thriller that follows a couple Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) who retreat to their remote house and decide to spice things up in the bedroom when suddenly a heart attack leaves Gerald dead and Jessie chained to the bed where she must escape. This is a very mentally and psychologically heavy film that as time goes on delves deeper and deeper into madness and insanity. It plays mind games with you, has you holding your breath in terrifying moments of tension, and successfully turns a potentially scary situation into an absolute nightmare. And how do they fill an hour and 40 minutes when you are limited to the confinement of one room?….. Just know everything is executed flawlessly.
There is a real psychological element to this film and it breaks you down just as much as it breaks Jessie down. You begin to question what’s real and what’s an illusion and it is constantly playing all these mind games that successfully mess with you. There are moments in here that will have you holding your breath in shock or fear and some utterly disturbing scenes that will undoubtedly make your heart stop. The plot delves into some dark territory and exhibits some pretty shocking and confronting messages that turn this film into much more than a cool premise. There are a few side plots that come into play here and there and are executed amazingly, but for the sake of spoilers I can’t mention what they are. But they contribute to the story and the overall messages the film is trying to convey in a way that has everything come full circle and makes you see all of the events in another light. I may sound very cryptic but this is too good to spoil.
As far as the performances go there is no doubt that Carla Gugino is damn-right phenomenal and she exhibits the pain, torture, and despair her character is in incredibly well. To the point where you wonder if she really spent all that time actually tied to a bed in order to film it. Her performance is heartbreaking, touching, and adds so much to the psychological horror side of the film. Bruce Greenwood is also great here and his overall role I won’t go into again for spoilers but he is perfectly unsettling in his role as Gerald. There may or may not be other performances in here that are just as great as those mentioned above but again unfortunately I just can’t go into any of that. Also I have to mention that it is directed by Mike Flanagan who directed last year’s ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’ which is a film i expected to hate but ended up loving. The guy does horror and suspense really well and I cannot wait to see his future projects.
So in the end, at its core Gerald’s Game will grab you by the throat from the outset and hold you there, getting tighter and tighter with each intense moment driving you to madness. But it goes so deep beyond that initial premise that I was speechless when the credits began to roll and the only way I can go into a lot of this movie is through a spoiler review, which will most likely happen. The only real negative i have is in part due to the execution of the last part of the movie but again, it’s hard to explain why here. The film is out now on Netflix and I implore you to check it out immediately without watching the trailer, because spoilers.