Gerald’s Game delivers a stunningly shocking Stephen King adaptation

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Gerald’s Game, a Stephen King adaptation, recently debuted on the streaming giant, Netflix. But is the movie worth your time in an increasingly busy world…

Gerald’s Game — Courtesy of Netflix

The King of Kings

It’s the year of the King, baby — Stephen King that is. Although I haven’t been able to see all of King’s adaptations this year, the ones I’ve seen have been nothing short of extraordinary. Each one has left a lasting impression and I often find myself lost in a thought involving one of the characters or a specific scene. The latest one that struck me this way is none other than the seductive, mind-bending thriller, Gerald’s Game.

Gerald’s Game is a Netflix original movie based on the novel by King. It’s directed by the talented Mike Flanagan (Hush, Ouija: Origin of Evil) with a screenplay by himself and Jeff Howard (Before I Wake, Oculus). The film stars Carla Gugino (Sin City, The Watchmen) as Jessie and Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek, Double Jeopardy) as Gerald.

The story follows Jessie and Gerald as they travel to a remote lake house in hopes of spicing things up and saving their marriage. Things quickly take a turn for the worse when Gerald unexpectedly dies of a heart attack and leaving Jesse handcuffed to the bed.

Game On, Gerald

I love most Stephen King’s adaptations, but of course, there’s a few that stand out above the rest while others are a bit of snoozefest and can be torture to sit through. Gerald’s Game is definitely not the latter. It’s by far one of the best Stephen King adaptations I’ve ever seen. It’s visually stunning, the story is dark and disturbing and the acting phenomenal. Warning, there will be spoilers ahead.

The beginning starts with a perfect opening scene as the Burlingame couple are getting ready to venture away to a remote lake house. As “Bring It On Home To Me” by Sam Cooke plays in the background, you can tell Jessie is nervous but willing to do anything to save her marriage.

Meanwhile, Gerald is ready to fulfill his own personal desires and needs, as per usual as he stares down at his shiny handcuffs. Driving there, they see a malnourished dog and Gerald heartlessly honks the horn to get him to move and doesn’t blink an eye to the dog’s suffering. All of this foreshadows the crazy events ahead.

The Moment Insanity Begins

The first intense moment is when Gerald is on top of a handcuffed Jessie and he suddenly has a heart attack, leaving him dead and lying on top of her. She panics and uses her legs to push him off, and he rolls on the floor. Shortly after, she can see blood pouring from his head. Her heart is pounding — and so is mine. Can you imagine how horrible this would be? She not only witnessed the death of her husband, but he died on top of her. Then as she struggles helplessly in bed with her arms chained, she sees a puddle of blood coming from his head. This moment is so traumatic and uncomfortable, and it only gets worse.

The starved dog from earlier comes for an unexpected visit and decides Gerald is a worthy meal for dinner, munching down on his arm like it’s a big juicy steak. This is the moment that breaks Jessie and insanity commences.