[REVIEW] Netflix’s “Gerald’s Game” Spoiler Review

“Gerald’s Game” is a Netflix original movie that is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name that was originally published back in 1992. The film adaptation is directed/adapted by Mike Flanagan and co-written by Jeff Howard. Before we analyze this film, let me give a broad stroke on what the story is about based on what I got from watching the trailer when it was released.

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(Courtesy of Netflix.com)

My synopsis – A married couple go to a secluded location to re-kindle the spark they used to have. As Gerald and his wife, Jessie, start to get frisky an unexpected thing happens that Jessie has never seen Gerald do before. He pulls out handcuffs. Yes, handcuffs and from what he says – ” not the cheap kind” either. After, cuffing her to the bedpost he gets an unexpected heart attack and dies. Leaving her trapped and helpless.

Now, lets get into some of the details of this review and please keep in mind that there will be some spoilers. “Gerald’s Game”  is a fantastic movie that deals with a very serious subject, so regardless I advise everyone to give this adaptation a shot no matter what you heard about the film.

Alright, now that’s out of the way. First off, I just want to let you guys know that this is coming from someone who has never ready the book. My only experience with this Stephen King story is from the movie, so I will not be making any comparisons between the two. This is solely based on the Netflix movie.

Despite watching the trailer I did not know what to expect going into this film. I thought to myself “How are they going to make a story based on woman stuck to a bed?” and well they definitely accomplished that. How you ask? By making it something deeper and more emotional. This is what Stephen King does best and is why he’s one of the greatest storytellers of all time. He tends to place a character in a terrible and over the top situation but makes that situation a whole metaphor, which allows us to go into the mind of our main protagonist. “Gerald’s Game” does that perfectly.

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(Courtesy of Netflix.com)

We follow Jessie as she becomes delusional and recounts horrific events that she’s long repressed deep inside. The film does something interesting after her husband dies. The director, Mike Flanagan, breaks the line of reality by having us constantly question what’s real and what isn’t. There’s a scene where a stray dog comes in and starts eating Gerald’s flesh as he’s dead on the floor and then Gerald, who is thought to be dead, stands up and starts talking to Jessie. A definite “What the hell?” moment.

Soon after, we see Jessie standing next to the bed talking to her husband while the “real” Jessie is still trapped to the bed. At this point in the movie I started to understand what type of movie this was going to be. It becomes more of a psychological thriller than your typical straight up horror flick. There are definitely some horror elements within the movie and believe me when they happen it’s really well done.

Jessie, then starts to recount a traumatic child hood memory that she’s kept from everyone. This horrific event is what shapes the true meaning of the film and Gerald dying is used as a tool for her to overcome that. I’ll say it again – that’s why Stephen King is a brilliant writer. His stories revolve around deep and personal social issues.

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(Courtesy of Netflix.com)

One scene in particular has been generating buzz around the internet since it’s premiere. Apparently, when the film was screened in theaters people reportedly passed out and threw up over this one grotesque and pivotal moment toward the end of the film. The scene is quite a doozy to get through. It’s shocking in every sense of the word. As a person who has seen a lot of violent movies, this scene even had me almost look away. I won’t say what it is, but you’ll know when you watch it. It’s brutal!

Where the movie lacks is the emotional connection between Jessie and Gerald. Again, I haven’t read the book but a little more backstory would of been nice to see. You do get a sense of how their current relationship status is during some dialogue parts but to see it would of been a good touch. For instance, there is a line of dialogue that indicates that Gerald is a very hard worker and tends to put his job before everything – including Jessie.

Overall, this movie is a roller coaster ride that takes you to places that you wouldn’t expect and it’s great for that reason. I recommend this movie to anyone but be warned some scenes are not for the faint of heart.

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