Friday, May 10, 2019

Gerald’s Game (2017)

Movie Name/Year: Gerald’s Game (2017)
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Length: 103 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production Companies: Intrepid Pictures
Director: Mike Flanagan
Writer: Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard, Stephen King
Actors: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Chiara Aurelia, Carel Struycken, Henry Thomas, Kate Siegel, Adalyn Jones, Bryce Harper, Gwendolyn Mulamba, James Flanagan, Roach

Blurb from IMDb: While trying to spice up their marriage in their remote lake house, Jessie must fight to survive when her husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her handcuffed to their bed frame.

Selina’s Point of View:
I have a very wide variety of thoughts where Gerald’s Game is concerned.

There were some logic-based errors that I had trouble getting past. Unless the world in the film had completely different physics than our world, certain things shouldn’t have been able to be reachable after other things were. (That sentence sucked, I know. Give me a break, I’m trying not to write out spoilers.)

I also immediately wondered why the main character didn’t just turn a bit and start kicking the fuck out of one of the posts. Granted, I played a lot of soccer in my younger days, so kicking the problem would obviously hit my brain before it would for most others. So, I’ve opted not to hold that against the movie.

The story itself was interesting – and I particularly loved the ending. I wish I had a little more explanation for some things, but I don’t think it was all that necessary anyway. Sometimes an unanswered question makes the film better.

There were a ton of references to other works by Stephen King (Cujo, The Dark Tower, The Shining). As much as I like a good reference, the ones in this film weren’t all that great. A lot of them felt shoe-horned in and completely out of place. They pop up in dialogue that makes no sense, for instance. Sure, some of them worked, but I’m not sure why they wouldn’t just keep those and ditch the rest.

I know this entire review sounds a bit negative, but the truth of the matter is that I actually enjoyed it. I do believe it will stick with me for a while.

Cat’s Point of View:
This wasn’t entirely what I was expecting.

I’ve been slacking a bit in reading the works of Stephen King (Mute, It, The Mist). He’s one of my very favorite authors, but I know I’ve only scratched the surface of his twisty tales of the macabre. Gerald’s Game is not one of those that I’ve read, nor was I familiar with the story before viewing this Netflix original. With that in mind, I’m afraid I can’t speak to whether or not this film was true to the original written word.

Onward to the movie.

I’ve got to tip my hat to Carla Gugino (Sucker Punch, The Space Between Us, The Haunting of Hill House) and Bruce Greenwood (Endless Love, Spectral, The Post). There were a few other cast members, but Gugino and Greenwood were the sole focus in most of the screen-time. I think they pulled it off quite well.

Parts of this film were a bit squicky for me – but it’s meant to be uncomfortable when what’s happening isn’t ok. King is a master at the unsettling, however, so it’s something one comes to expect with an adapted production.

I can’t say that I feel this is in the same category as Misery (1990), which had a similarly small cast of characters. It was, however, a solid experience. My only complaint would be that the ending felt off in comparison with all the buildup throughout the film.

I wouldn’t steer anyone away from this movie, but I likely won’t be watching it again.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 90%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 72%
Metascore – 77/100
Metacritic User Score – 6.7/10
IMDB Score – 6.6/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3/5

Movie Trailer:

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