#MonthOfSpooks – Gerald’s Game 1


When Jesse (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) take off to their cottage in the woods they are going there in an attempt to rekindle their seemingly failing marriage. Things seem almost perfect as they arrive at the idyllic location and they move pretty swiftly into the bedroom and Jesse finds herself handcuffed to the sturdy looking bed. Gerald is about to start enjoying this situation when, worst of luck, he has a heart attack and dies leaving Jesse still handcuffed and no hope of any help arriving anytime soon.

Things go from bad to worse as Jesse tries to get out of this situation and as they do she has a mental break and begins to have conversations with Dead Gerald and an unrestrained version of herself about how she can escape/how fucked she actually is (a novel way of having the devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other). Whilst this is a great way to show the mental breakdown she is experiencing it never seems to get any worse as time wears on. Also there flashbacks to Jesse’s childhood that didn’t really add anything to the dire predicament and felt quite out of place to me.

I never felt the tension or stress that this should have had, it also didn’t fully explore the worst-case scenario that this was and to top it all off the last 10-15mins of the film suddenly turns into something totally different, not fitting in with the rest of the film. A strange decision but then it is a book adaptation so maybe there is plenty more information in the book which would remedy all these issues (and being a Stephen King book I can imagine that there are plenty of pages. That man loves a BIG book!).

Nowhere near the flair of the other Stephen King adaptation that came out this year (IT), this is a small scale look at the psychological issues and stresses of being in a life or death situation but doesn’t get the atmosphere right. Directed by Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Hush, Before I Wake) who seems to know and work in the genre, however he has missed the target with this one.

Horror Rating:     

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