Thursday, November 23, 2017

Gerald's Game

Movie Name: Gerald's Game
Year of Release: 2017
Director: Mike Flanagan
Stars: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Henry Thomas, Carel Struycken, Kate Siegel, Chiara Aurelia
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Horror
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
View Trailer

In a year that has seen plenty of Stephen King's adaptations being transposed to the screens, streaming giant Netflix has premiered another of those versions with "Gerald's Game". The film from director Mike Flanagan, follows the story of a married couple, Jessie and Gerald, both of whom go to a secluded house during the weekend to try and spice their marriage. Gerald who is a bit older than Jessie, prepares everything in advance, so they can stay all by themselves, and engage in some potentially exciting bedroom games. As a result of one of those games, Jessie finds herself cuffed to the bed. When the erotic game fizzles, Gerald starts feeling poorly and suddenly collapses due to a heart attack and promptly dies. Jessie finds herself unable to get free, since the keys for the cuffs are by the bathroom. As the minutes and hours start unfolding, Jessie's ghosts, paranoia and fears start mounting, jeopardizing her own survival.
Mike Flanagan who has made a career for himself directing thriller and horror features, most notably 2016's "Ouija, Origin of Evil", manages to create with "Gerald's Game", a film that smartly plays what is a one person debacle, into an engaging and claustrophobic experience. The film starts by introducing the couple's dynamics early on, but when Gerald passes, things quickly become more exciting, since Jessie and her fears and ghosts come into play. The director smartly visualizes them and places them in the room, alongside imprisoned Jessie, which makes for an interesting and compelling viewing. The film manages to never fall trap of the cliches associated with couples of different generations, instead allowing for the characters to be well developed, particularly Jessie, who eventually finds within herself the resources to survive. The film gives Carla Gugino an opportunity to showcase her versatility in a lead role, simultaneously giving the always underrated Bruce Greenwood an opportunity to play a character outside his typical supporting roles (he's played Presidents, Admirals and figures of authority quite a few times). A good film worth watching.