Starring: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood
Directed By: Mike Flanagan
Synopsis: Gerald Burlingame and his wife Jessie attempt to rekindle the flames of their marriage with a retreat to their remote lake house. But when a dangerous sex game accidentally kills Gerald and leaves Jessie handcuffed to the bed, the latter is forced to overcome panic and hallucinations if she wants to escape.
Adaptations of Stephen King novels have been hit or miss. There have been at least 58 of them with more in the works like the sequel to the latest IT movie, plus Hulu's Castle Rock series. For every good one, there are at least a dozen that are barely watchable. There's little wonder in whether it's the source material being hard to adapt or merely someone unable to bring the master of horror's vision to life. There are many reasons why these adaptations can go so wrong, but we won't get into those here.
Gerald's Game begins with Gerald and Jessie trying to rekindle the passion in their marriage. The attraction between them has faded. Gerald decides to handcuff Jessie to the bed and play out a rape fantasy. This goes bad very quickly with Gerald dying of a heart attack. Jessie is left trapped and trying to find a way to escape with little success. There are more horrors than just being trapped such as a stray dog searching for food, traumas from her past and a nightmarish man hiding in the shadows.
Jessie's ordeal is harrowing to watch. Will she manage to escape? She begins to hallucinate and relive pieces of her past that she'd tried to forget. Did her past put her on the path to her current situation? These are questions that do get answered in my opinion by the end of the film. There is a scene that will be talked about for quite awhile after this movie ends. It is gruesome to watch but well worth it.
People might complain about the last ten minutes since so many were polarized by the end of the novel. I believe that the final scenes are what really tie together Jessie's journey and her road to the future. The real horrors come from the people she has encountered and the trauma she endured. There is no supernatural element here. For me, that's what makes it truly unsettling.