When a harmless game between a married couple in a remote retreat suddenly becomes a harrowing fight for survival, wife Jessie must confront long-buried demons within her own mind - and possibly lurking in the shadows of her seemingly empty house.Written by
When Jessie's father is manipulating her into concealing his abuse, he suggests that they might tell her mother the truth and "take [their] medicine," a euphemism for punishment also used by Jack Torrance in Stephen King's novel The Shining. Henry Thomas would go on to play a ghostly version of Jack in Doctor Sleep (2019), the sequel to The Shining (1980). See more »
When Tom is talking to a young Jessie on the shore of the lake, the sun is at 12 o'clock directly behind his back. However, the shadows place the sun at 9 o'clock on his left. See more »
In each of the main credits' screen, a letter G, O, C or N is styled with the bright half-circle of the eclipse, which defines the color of the fonts: Letters to the left of that one are "lit up" in yellow, less bright the farther they are; the other letters are red. The remaining credits also have an unusual lighting, scrolling over a bright circle so that some letters are suddenly clearer. See more »
Open Up Your Heart
Written by Charles Forcier & Joseph C. Smith
Performed by The Bishops
Courtesy of Resnik Music Group See more »
The first Stephen King adaptation that had me considering picking up the novel.
Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) are a married couple hoping to spice up their sex life by indulging in a salacious weekend away to the countryside. Gerald has the idea to handcuff Jessie to the bed, in an attempt to role play. But things get too rough for Jessie and in the confrontation Gerald has a heart attack while Jessie remains cuffed to the bed. She must now find her way out of an impossible situation, while struggling with her own demons and crumbling psyche.
This one-location drama is intermixed with hallucinations; increasingly unhinged conversations with mental manifestations of oppression and fear, flashbacks, memories and nightmares from a difficult past, a husband dead on the floor and...a hungry dog. The film doesn't lose it's pace or feel sluggish, director Flanagan navigates the different elements of the plot with skill and uses almost every visual aspect to create suspension and a constant feeling of unpredictability. A door left open, a wooden shelf, a glass of water, a book, a paper tag, a leather bag and a mangy dog. The skillful execution of an intense third act, both from Gugino and Flanagan, stumbles into the final stretch and falls a bit short in the end, feeling strained and convoluted. And I'm left feeling that the film got lost in the page to screen translation, and wondering if it worked better on paper.
I have to admit that the main reason for this flick ending up in my Netflix watch-list was Carla Gugino. Unsurprisingly she delivers a fantastic performance, and tackles the difficult and physically restrictive role dynamically. She gives a stirring and impactful execution of a narrative that has more humanity than most horror films at the moment. And even though the film feels a bit clunky towards the end; Gugino's performance, here as well as the rest of the feature, is a big part of what makes it worth watching. (Minor plot point reveal ahead!) As stumbling as the features final steps may be, Flanagan and Gugino work hard to sell it, and Gugino especially; stays on point as she skillfully acts out the unfortunately muddled yet essential message about a woman fighting back against toxic masculinity.
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