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
In the novel, the solar eclipse in question is the one of July 20, 1963, whose path of totality crossed Maine. In the movie, it is presumably the one of May 30, 1984, whose path of totality crossed New Orleans. 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 »
People are safe from ghouls and ghosts and the living dead in the daylight. And they're usually safe from them at night, if they're with others. But a person alone in the dark... women alone in the dark are like open doors, Jessie, and if they scream for help, who knows what might answer. Who knows what people see in the moment of their solitary death. Is it so hard to believe that some of them might have died of fear? No matter what the words on the death certificate say... died of fear... ...
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Gerald's Game was surprisingly more introspective and less gruesome than I imagined.
Gerald's Game was surprisingly more introspective and less gruesome than I imagined (except one particularly cringe-worthy scene). From a viewer who didn't read the Stephen King novel the film was based upon, I went into the Netflix original prepared to be disturbed. The film doesn't waste time getting you to the meat of the story. From the start Carla Gugino gives an emotionally powerful performance as Jessie – a mentally abused victim struggling to repair a failing marriage - that sets the tone for the rest of the film. The reluctance she shows toward her husband Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) forces you to never sit comfortably as the plot begins to be painted.
One of the great strengths of this movie was answering the questions you were going to ask before you asked them. Understanding from the beginning that Jessie was to end up handcuffed to a bed throughout the entirety of the film already had me questioning her inability to escape. As soon as you see her situation play out and begin to think of her options, the writers provided answers as to why that isn't possible in a unique and believable fashion. With the multitude of challenges she has to overcome she is forced to relive her disturbing past, which in-turn must help her overcome her shackled state if she is to even have a chance of surviving.
The use of symbolism in this film is constant, but so much so that at times it seems to spell it out for you, or literally tell you. I felt the comparisons between her current situation and her past was a bit too blunt. I would've called for a little less hand-holding and a bit more mystery surrounding the connections that were made between the men in her life. Yet one of the most obvious symbols - the blood- red eclipse – was one that surprised me the most as its representation transforms into a powerful message of strength.
The anchor for this film was Carla Gugino and her amazingly powerful performance with a great showing from co-star Bruce Greenwood. The dialogue and thought process that unfolded from the two kept me emotionally entwined in the story and eager to find out what would happen next. Along with fantastic performers, Gerald's Game was made better with the subtlety of the soundtrack and cinematography. I was more impressed at the times where there was no music playing at all, which seemed often and was appropriate. It built suspense and kept focus on the current scene when all the viewers were left with was the disturbing sounds of her struggle. The eclipse as mentioned was a favorite of mine. The deep red ring emphasized the horror of events unfolding, yet transformed with the character and began something greater.
Even after the movie was finished I found myself thinking over the message that was left for the viewers to contemplate. It was one that I didn't expect and was glad to see at the same time. Gerald's Game was a fantastic physiological thriller that never had me shaking my head in un-believability. I enjoyed the restraint of music in key moments, and was enthralled by the situation presented. This makes two Stephen King adaptations that have nailed the difficult process of transforming a story from a book to film. JordanRoss gives Gerald's Game:
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