Top 100 Films Of The 2010’s – #87 – Gerald’s Game (2017)


RELEASED: 29th September 2017

DIRECTOR: Mike Flanagan

CAST: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Chiara Aurelia, Carel Struycken, Henry Thomas, Kate Siegel, Adalyn Jones, Bryce Harper, Gwendolyn Mulamba, James Flanagan, Dori Lumpin, Charles Dube, Chuck Borden, Mike McGill, Natalie Roers, Nikia Reynolds and Bill Riales

BUDGET: N/A

BOX OFFICE WORLDWIDE: N/A

AWARDS: None

A couple tries to spice up their marriage in a remote lake house; after the husband dies unexpectedly, the wife is left handcuffed to their bed frame and must fight to survive and break free.

 

Gerald’s Game focuses on married couple Jessie and Gerald Burlingame, with the pair heading to an isolated lake house in Fiarhope, Alabama, to spice up their marriage. While everything is taken care of, the fridge is fully stocked, Jessie has bought a new slip while Gerald has brought the handcuffs. Whilst Jessie is handcuffed to the bedposts and their initial game/fantasy leads to a heated arguments which results in Gerald having a fatal heart attack, falling onto the floor. Handcuffed to the bedposts, Jessie must fight to survive and break free.

 

Gerald’s Game is the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, which is directed by physiological horror director of this decade Mike Flanagan. It’s a simple premise in which one person is trapped/chuffed to their environment, with no hope of rescue in the time that she has left and what’s worse, is that a stray dog is able to enter the room and has a taste for human flesh. It’s a simple story that’s very well executed here by Mike Flanagan, who also edited the film here that feels much like a play, with how it executes Jessie’s mental state goes to breaking point, manifesting an alive Gerald and another version of herself, as not only do they help give potential outs of getting out of the bed, but we dive deep into Jessie’s history as well. There’s a lot of stuff setup that comes into play later, tiny details as Flanagan asks the audience what they would do in the situation with the little recourses available. Carla Gugino is absolutely fantastic as Jessie Burlingame, a quiet housewife who becomes a desperate, mentally beaten woman that will do whatever it takes to survive. Bruce Greenwood should get some praise as well for his portrayal of Gerald Burlingame, a charming yet controlling figure. The two bring great depth and layers to their performances. The film is a great slow burn and, while the final ten minutes dampen the film overall for some people, I liked it.

 

FAVOURITE SCENE: The first scene in which we’re introduced to the Moonlight Man. Is he real or part of Jessie’s mental breakdown manifestations? The scene works eerily well in part to the fact that there’s no music or jump scare edit.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: “Everybody’s got a little corner in there somewhere; a button they won’t admit they want pressed. Year after year, I barely gave you a glimpse of mine.” – Gerald Burlingame

DID YOU KNOW: The book (Midnight Mass) that Jessie throws at the dog in this movie was written by Kate Siegel’s character from Hush (2016) which was also directed by Mike Flanagan.

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