gerald's game | mike flanagan | jeff howard | carla gugino | bruce greenwood | henry thomas | thriller | united states | carel struycken | kate siegel | chiara aurelia | based on | stephen king | novel
Film: Gerald’s Game
Director: Mike Flanagan
Writer: Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard
Starring: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood and Henry Thomas
This film begins showing someone packing a bag and they put handcuffs into it. We then cut to a car ride where we have a married couple as they head to their summer home. The wife Jessie Burlingame (Carla Gugino) and her husband is Gerald Burlingame (Bruce Greenwood). The official synopsis is while trying to spice up their marriage in their remote lake house, Jessie must fight to survive when her husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her handcuffed to their bed frame.
Now I need to lead off stating that the Stephen King novel this is based on is one of my favorites. The novel has an unsettling feeling that director and co-writer Mike Flanagan did a great job of capturing. The story seems very basic and it really is. For the most part it all takes place in one location. We do get to see Jessie as a young teen, being played by Chiara Aurelia. It bothered me seeing what happened to her back then and how it has influenced the rest of her life. I bring this up with the story for the fact that it is great that is plays a role in the situation she is in currently. I personally could have done without the ending of the film, but I didn’t mind it either. It does explain everything.
The acting of this film was really good. Gugino played a solid role. She is handcuffed to the bed for a majority of it, but she also gets to play a version of herself that is inside her head that is free. I love seeing her reason with herself and try to figure a way out of her situation. Greenwood is also good as her older husband who is harboring a secret, one that Gugino ignored for awhile. I also really wanted to commend Aurelia. She has a very tough role to play. It is disturbing and the things her father says to her, he is played by Henry Thomas, really bothered me. I also liked seeing Carel Struycken and how creepy he looks. It would be terrifying to see him in the dark.
This film was edited very well. The film runs 105 minutes or so, but it doesn’t feel like it. The tension continues to build as the time goes on. You fear for night coming and you also see the stages of accepting the situation come over Jessie. It would be hard to not panic, but she comes to terms that if she does, it could end her life. Cutting to her reliving that experience was done seamlessly and it makes a lot of sense. There aren’t a lot of effects in the film, but the ones that are done look great. There is one that looked very realistic and made me cringe. I was impressed by that. The score of the film really only stood out in a few scenes, but I thought the song choice was well done. It ties back into the story.
Now with that said, I would highly recommend seeing this film. I’m bias as a King fan, but the story to this film is great. How Gugino’s current situation is tied back into something that happened when she was younger was great to me. The acting of the film was good. The editing of the film was very well done, building tension and was paced well. There isn’t a lot in the way of effects, but the ones that are in this film were well done. The score didn’t stand out to me for the most part, but the scenes were it does is important. This film isn’t a horror film the sense that it is scary. The situation she is in would be terrifying. This film was quite unsettling. I would recommend this film to everyone, even if you aren’t a horror film. I thought it was that good.
My Rating: 9 out of 10