Sunday, 1 October 2017

Ross's Halloween Reviews: Gerald's Game

Or as I like to call it: Stephen King's version of 127 Hours.

I know it may seem a bit redundant to put the word 'Halloween' in the title since all I've reviewed since coming book is straight up horror movies, but while we're in the month of October it's going to stay that way. It's my favourite time of year and I plan to upload as many horror reviews as possible during the month.

So this movie was released a couple of days ago as a Netflix exclusive and is an adaption of the book of the same name, written by the legend that is Stephen King, which does seem to be a theme for me as this is now the fourth King adaption I've written about since coming back.

I've also bought the original book version, and after watching this I definitely want to read it after I'm finished with 'IT' to see if there are any major differences.

With King adaption's being all the rage this month, how does this one stack up with the rest? Let's take a look.

As usual this will be spoiler free and any plot points I do mention will have already been shown in the trailer.

Our story begins with our two main characters, a married couple called Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) and Jessie (Carla Gugino) as they head to a remote Lake House in the woods to try and spice up their apparently failing marriage.

Quickly this leads to Gerald trying out a sex game by handcuffing Jessie to the bed. After this all goes kind of wrong (in a very uncomfortable scene I might add), Gerald suffers what appears to be a heart attack, leaving poor Jessie stuck to the bed with no one around to help her. She can't move from the bed or reach her phone from the bedside table, so she's pretty much screwed and tries everything to stay alive.

Aside from threat of starvation and dehydration, Jessie also has to contend with a ravenous stray dog that's gotten into the house, waiting for her to drop her guard so that he can feast on her flesh.

I wasn't too sure about this one at first as I wasn't sure how they could pull off making a person trapped to a bed for 100 minutes entertaining, but somehow they pulled it off and I was never bored once.

This is mainly because of the hallucinations suffered by Jessie as she slowly starts to go insane due to her dire situation. In this state she has visions of Gerald coming back to seemingly mock her with details of their sub-par marriage and laughing at her attempts to escape.

To counteract this she can also see a version of herself that's willing her on and giving her ideas on how to survive and to ignore her mind's version of Gerald.

The acting performances here were great, especially for Carla as she could go from a helpless woman hanging on the edge of sanity to a badass with some survival instinct.

When there were some slower moments in the movie, they were still filled with the right amount of tension, to where even Jessie's attempt to get a simple glass of water to stay alive is just nail-biting and you're left praying that she doesn't mess it up.

I wasn't expecting this to be a horror film at all, but as this is a Stephen King adaption, there was bound to be some scary element here. It doesn't happen often but there are a couple of scenes that bring in a seemingly supernatural element which did initially creep me out and there were a couple of times I was left watching the screen through my fingers.

Jessie also has flashbacks to her time as a 12 year old girl that do explain why her marriage with Gerald is slightly strained, but again I won't go into details due to spoilers. Just know this, it is pretty fucked up and won't be forgotten soon as much as I'd like to.

As someone who doesn't mind a bit of gore, there are only a couple of scenes with some major gory details that definitely won't be for the faint of heart so be warned.

My only real problem with the movie I can't explain as it does take place in the last five minutes of the film, but it does involve a revelation that kind of ruined some of the previous moments in the film as it didn't make sense and didn't fit the tone of the rest of the film. Some people may see it differently but it just annoyed me.

Overall while not on the levels of the recent IT adaption in my opinion, this is still a Stephen King adaption worth checking out if you're looking for a chilling October movie without too many scares. It is disturbing as hell and you could cut the tension with a knife at times as you feel yourself glued to the story.


Verdict: 7/10

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