On Friday, September 29, 2017, Mike Flanagan’s psychological thriller/horror film, Gerald’s Game, was released on Netflix.
The film is an adaptation of Stephen King’s 1992 novel of the same name.
Please note that the following review contains spoilers.
Review of Gerald’s Game
Gerald’s Game centers around Jessie Burlingame (Carla Gugino), a married woman that is left handcuffed to a bed after her husband, Gerald Burlingame (Bruce Greenwood), suffers from a heart attack.
Unable to reach her phone and too distant from any potentially available neighbors, Jessie realizes that no one is going to help her in time.
Despite this fact, she is not completely alone — a wild dog that Jessie previously offered food enters the house through the open door and begins to drink Gerald’s blood and tear off pieces of his corpse.
Having difficulty coping with the situation, she begins to interact with two hallucinations: one of her dead husband and another of her own self. Through these interactions, Jessie desperately seeks methods of survival.
As the film progresses, Jessie realizes that she may be suffering from a third hallucination that only appears in the dark: a physical representation of Death.
That being said, she becomes unsure of what is reality and what isn’t after evidence seems to suggest that whatever is visiting her at night might not just be a hallucination.
Finding herself closer to death as time passes and no form of escape has been found, Jessie begins to revisit the trauma from her past through a series of disturbing flashbacks.
Through these flashbacks, the film extends beyond the room that Jessie is trapped in and explores an entirely different nightmare. During these flashback scenes, viewers learn important information about Jessie’s past.
Although the film may initially seem somewhat slow to viewers, its later scenes manage to keep viewers engaged.
This is accomplished through the introduction of additional plot points — in particular, the figure of Death that visits Jessie at night and the revelations about her past.
By including these plot points, viewers are introduced to twists that have a major impact on the overall plot.
Specifically, viewers learn more about Jessie’s character, which allows the audience to genuinely sympathize (or perhaps even empathize to some degree) with Jessie’s situation.
Furthermore, the tone of the film becomes increasingly dark and disturbing as a result of these plot points, which effectively leads viewers to Jessie’s final survival attempt.
Pumpkin Rating & Conclusion
Entertainment Value: 4.5 / 5 Pumpkins
Price of Film: N/A (included with Netflix subscription)
Duration of Film: 4 / 5 Pumpkins
Pumpkin Rating: 4.5 / 5 Pumpkins
Despite its initially slow start, Gerald’s Game provides viewers with a simultaneously entertaining and disturbing experience that transitions into something much darker than its premise.
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Mike Flanagan Twitter: @flanaganfilm