Review in Brief: Gerald’s Game (2017)

There’s such fine, detailed character work here and such a limited pool of performers and locations that you can imagine GERALD’S GAME working as well on stage as it does on film. Sooner or later, one of the usual Stephen King backstories for a female character comes to define her, but Carla Gugino still gives a heart-rending and nuanced turn as the captive Jessie nonetheless. Bruce Greenwood, as the stubbornly talkative dead husband Gerald manages to be deplorable and mocking but stops short of being a monster (that is saved for a player who arrives late in the game, to mixed success). Mike Flanagan is rapidly becoming my favourite director of suspense films, and he seems to be a real actor’s filmmaker, encouraging great performances from his cast and with a devious eye for nasty (and I mean nasty) visuals. Put Gerald’s Game on this Halloween for a sweaty-palmed ride with real jeopardy and jolts of leftfield weirdness. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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