Gerald’s Game has been appearing on my Netflix recommended list since its release in 2017. For some reason I’ve been avoided it from day one, maybe it was the title, maybe it was the cover artwork, I just got the sense this film was a ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ meets ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ and that just doesn’t appeal to me.
If Netflix had titled this ‘Stephen Kings – Gerald’s Game’ I probably would have watched this sooner! Like most people, I’m a big fan of King’s books.
The movie starts with a couple attempting to save their failing marriage with a romantic weekend away in a remote lakeside house. Husband ‘Gerald’ (Bruce Greenwood) decides to add a little spice to the proceeding by bringing along a pair of handcuffs. Wife Jessie (Carla Gugino) acquiesces to his sexual fantasy but the game leads to disastrous consequences.
Jesse is left shackled to a bed with no means of escape, with her husband laid motionless at her feet. Jesse begins to slip in and out of consciousness, she is forced by her situation to reflect on a disturbing past which has ultimately lead her to this moment. Survival will hinge on a mental battle with her inner demons and external ones.
Carla Gugino who plays Jesse does an amazing job in this movie, as does Bruce Greenwood. Nevertheless, Chiara Aurelia as the younger Jesse delivers the stand out performance in the movies most disturbing and poignant scenes.
This is a smart horror/thriller which takes the audience to uncomfortable places. Although the film is never overly gratuitous or voyeuristic. Genuine moments of terror are skilfully interwoven with thought-provoking drama by director Mike Flanagan.