Gerald’s Game is a horror/thriller directed by Mike Flanagan. The movie follows Jessie (Carla Gugino) and her husband Gerald (Bruce Greenwood). Looking to get away, Jessie and Bruce drive out to their remote lake house for some time alone. In an attempt to recreate a fantasy, Gerald handcuffs Jessie to their bed in an attempt to add some “spice” to their sex life. However, before the couple can bring the fantasy to life, Gerald dies unexpectedly while leaving his wife helplessly handcuffed to the bed with no way of escape. What started as a kinky game spirals quickly into a struggle between life and death as Jessie tries to survive against all odds.
When I saw the trailer for this movie, I stopped everything I was doing at the moment and watched it.
The idea of being trapped while handcuffed to a bed because a sex game went wrong intrigued me, and I just had to find out what happened to Jessie.
I enjoyed how this movie made me think. It is not afraid to “go there”, and it asks a lot of deep, personal questions of the audience. One theme and concept that I believe stands out in this movie is its portrayal of the unknown. This movie nails the idea of the unknown and shows the natural tension and uneasiness we humans feel when it comes to things that we cannot answer.
What was that noise in the house? It’s midnight, and I’m alone. Why are the floorboards creaking? Well, It’s an old house, so everything is fine. But what if everything isn’t ok?
We question things every day. We tend to lean towards the pleasant answer more than the uneasy one because the pleasant keeps us comfortable. However, that doesn’t make the uneasy answer any less of a possible option.
I love how this movie makes you take that second glance. For example, how well do we really know our significant others? How well do you know your husband/wife? Well, if you married them, I would assume you think you know them quite well. But in reality, you only know what they want you to know. Have you ever looked at them and wondered what type of thoughts they really have? What are the thoughts that neither you nor anyone else in the world will ever know because those thoughts will never leave the safe confines of their mind? The unknown can be fascinating, yet terrifying at the same time.
One of my favorite aspects of this movie is the dialogue. The dialogue is fantastic with some of its best moments coming from Gerald and Jessie. Gerald’s Game has great moments of anxiety-inducing suspense as well. I uneasily sat on the edge of the bed with one eye staring at the screen while the other watched the door of my room to ensure that at no point I would be caught “slipping”.
If you choose to watch this film, be prepared. The movie can be dark, disturbing, and at times unsettling. You will watch a woman lose her grip on reality to the point where even you struggle to differentiate between what’s real and what’s not. You will be at the edge of your seat. Once the danger sets in and the reality of the situation is realized, the ball never stops rolling…until it hits a brick wall at the end. But does it really hit a brick wall though? I find myself wondering if the ending was really necessary. It attempts to tie up loose ends and make the plot/twist of the story less ambiguous. I think the ambiguous twist is what really made this movie shine and click for me. But I completely understand why the director chose to clear it up. I personally would have preferred if they left it up to the audience to make their own interpretation of what happened and what it meant.
I’ll leave you with this. This movie slightly touched on an idea that my paranoid self has struggled with for a long time. If you are stranded and call for help, are you prepared to face whatever may answer that call?