Review: Gerald’s Game (2017)

Review Gerald’s Game

Venturing into Mike Flanagan’s enigmatic world in “Gerald’s Game,” a 105-minute psychological horror-thriller, one encounters a tapestry of themes. These range from the complexities of incest and abusive relationships to the eerie backdrop of a solar eclipse. Adapted from Stephen King’s novel, the film defies conventional norms and is masterfully directed by Flanagan. His expertise, evident in films like “Absentia,” “Oculus,” “Hush,” and the “Ouija” sequel, is showcased in crafting discomforting situations.

The Unsettling Prelude

From the very outset, the film evokes an eerie sense of unease. The death of Gerald (Bruce Greenwood), the husband, during a BDSMic encounter sets the stage for the unusual narrative. Flanagan’s adeptness at placing characters in uncomfortable scenarios becomes evident, yet “Gerald’s Game” veers away from the typical “trapped-person” storyline, presenting a unique premise.

A Woman in Constraints

The protagonist, Jess (Carla Gugino), finds herself handcuffed to a bed, left immobile in a remote lake-house. The story takes a peculiar turn when a stray dog, previously fed by Jess, enters the room and interacts with Gerald’s lifeless body. Hallucinations ensue, with Jess experiencing visions of herself, her husband, and flashbacks to her childhood during a solar eclipse.

Beyond Survival Thrills

Contrary to expectations, “Gerald’s Game” transcends the boundaries of a survival thriller. Jess engages in conversations with the hallucinated version of her deceased husband, unraveling the complexities of their relationship. Flanagan masterfully blends dramatic elements with the stark reality of Jess’s dire situation, emphasizing her struggle for survival, from maintaining blood circulation to shooing away the dog.

The Moonlight Man and Character Development

The introduction of the mysterious ‘Moonlight Man’ adds a sense of gloom, symbolizing Death itself. Flashbacks provide extensive character development, offering insight into Jess’s thoughts and emotions. As the lines between fantasy and reality blur, the film reaches its peak, leaving indelible images – from the Moonlight Man’s haunting smile to the surreal colors during the solar eclipse.

A Tapestry of Ghastly Images

Flanagan ensures that the ghastly images linger, creating a lasting impact. From the vivid hues of the eclipse to the visceral act of self-inflicted harm, these visuals leave an indelible mark. The film’s peak moments resonate with viewers. However, the final act introduces gore but slightly deviates from its old-school storytelling roots.

In “Gerald’s Game,” Flanagan weaves a narrative that explores the depths of fear. Confronting viewers with unsettling visuals and thought-provoking themes, the film lingers in the mind. It leaves behind a tapestry of dubious impressions.

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About the Author

Arun George
Thinker. Foodie. Travel-Enthusiast. Movie buff. Writer by Profession, Wanderer by Passion.

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