Thursday, December 28, 2017

Now on Netflix: Gerald's Game (2017)

Gerald's Game (2017) - Directed by Mike Flanagan; Written by Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard; Starring Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Chiara Aurelia, Henry Thomas.

By Kenny Howell

Stephen King has never gone away, but he has a bit of a resurgence recently with TV works like 11.22.63, and the massive movie hit It.

But his smaller works have been finding places too, like this one based off a novella that was originally a companion piece to Dolores Claiborne.

It is a tight work, mostly taking place in one room, a vacation home where a married couple escape to try to reinvigorate their sex lives. Gerald is a high powered lawyer who has brought his wife Jessie to the home, along with some handcuffs. She has agreed to try them out, but when his game turns into a bit of a rape fantasy, she kicks him away. He subsequently has a heart attack and dies on the floor, leaving her handcuffed to the bed with no one around for miles except a stray dog that is extremely hungry. When he gets into the house and takes a bite out of Gerald's corpse, Jessie starts to go crazy, seeing many facets of her personality, manifested as herself and Gerald, as well as a mysterious giant that she says is made of the moonbeams.

Gerald's Game has the hallmarks of all great King works, a great inciting incident and premise that takes the characters to inventively dark places. It's a small work since most of it takes place inside that bedroom so it does strain to keep things going, something King would be able to do easily on the page. Still, Gugino and Greenwood are able to keep it lively and make it a nice little gem tucked away on Netflix.

Gerald's Game is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: **1/2

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