Netflix Pick of the Week: Gerald’s Game is the most recent adaptation from Stephen’s Kings massive body of work. Gerald’s Game comes after critical falure, The Dark Tower, the highest grossing horror film of all time, It, and TV adaptations of The Mist and Mr. Mercedes.
The Stephen King renaissance is among us with several new adaptations and remakes from the Master of Horror. Some have not succeeded in bringing the material to life and not all of them can live up to the recent adaptation of It, but Gerald’s Game is a great film that manages to take tricky subject matter and turn it into 103 min of entertainment.
Spoiler Alert: Gerald’s Game was released on Netflix on Sept 29th. This post doesn’t reveal everything about the film but does dive into much of the story. If you want to watch the film completely spoiler free stop here.
Gerald’s Game follows, married couple, Gerald, and Jessie as they head out to their remote lake house in order to spice things up. The fridge is stocked with expensive foods, the gardeners and maids have been at work making the place look as good as new. With no one there to disturb them, Gerald takes his viagra and Jessie slips into a silky nightgown. Soon things take a turn for the worst and it doesn’t stop there. While engaged in foreplay that turns sour from the couple, Gerald has a heart attack leaving Jessie alone and handcuffed to the bedpost. Over the next few days, she suffers hallucinations, comes in contact with a stray dog and a man who may or may not be real. As time passes Jessie faces her past and must figure out to survive.
Trigger Warning: If you have suffered from or if sexual abuse has played a part in your life this film might be triggering to you. It deals with abuse as a child and the psychological effects that the silencing of abuse causes to victims in later life.
Gerald’s Game is psychological horror at its best. The film showcases a complex woman who was the victim of sexual abuse. The abuse she suffered as a child turned her into a prisoner and the handcuffs are used as a metaphor throughout the story. During the run of the film Jessie suffers, unsurprisingly from a breakdown and she must get through her hallucinations to survive. At the end of it all, it is her persistent efforts that save her life.
The film reminds us the importance of “no” and what it means to listen to your partner. Everyone has their comfort zones and they have them for whatever reason. If someone says “no” or tells you to “stop” do it. Just because you are comfortable doesn’t mean they will be or have to be.
I have yet to read the source material but I can imagine that it may have been a challenge to adapt a story that takes place in a person’s mind. It is not however surprising that the script is successful due to Flanagan’s reputation. He is the Writer/Director of Hush and the Director of Ouji: Origin of Evil.
For lovers of Psychological Horror and Suspense, Gerald’s Game is a great opportunity to check out the beauty of simplicity in a film.
If you have read the novel and consider this a worthy adaptation of the source material comment below. Also, comment if you have some qualms about the adaptation or story itself.