Editor’s note: The hosts of Horror Movie Podcast are always impressed by the knowledge and insights of our listenership in the emails and voicemails that we receive, as well as in the comments here at HorrorMoviePodcast.com. Once again, we’ve asked our listeners to participate in our 31 Days of Halloween by contributing written reviews. This review was submitted by a long-time listener and friend of the show Mark Cunningham, who goes by the screen-name “Red Cap Jack” … You can read “Red Cap Jack’s Ranting Lunacy” blog at redcapjack.blogspot.com and follow him on Twitter @RedCapJack.
The latest in the current trend in Stephen King revivals, this taut thriller gets itself a first time adaptation from genre director Michael Flanagan (Oculus, Hush) and is a riveting suspense ride. The story begins when a married couple, Jessie (Carla Cugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood), try to add a little spark to their marriage when they visit their house on the lake. Gerald, in an attempt to kink things up, brings in a pair of handcuffs- but Jesse isn’t all that into it. The resulting argument ends with a sudden heart attack on poor Gerald and Jesse is trapped with both hands cuffed to the bed.
No, not really… a desperate Jesse is trapped and must somehow survive the weekend. She has slim hope of someone arriving to rescue her, but she’s determined to live. Events quickly spiral out of control as she loses her grip on her sanity. Then there’s the arrival of a hungry dog, mounting delusions, and flashbacks that force Jesse to face a history she’d thought long buried.
Carla Cugino plays the lead, and delivers a performance with multiple levels. At times helpless, desperate, and afraid we are forced to watch her find an inner strength and debate herself at turns with the apparitions of her mind. Memories are revealed and deep pain is dragged out so that our heroine can find the inner strength to overcome her demons.
There are some changes from the book but only in that it streamlined the narrative a bit more cleanly for film. All of the truly gory bits remain intact. Highly recommended for fans of tense slow burns, though the tension never really lets up throughout the grueling ordeal.
Rating and Recommendation:
8.5 out of 10 and a huge recommend.
Gerald’s Game is a Netflix Original and only available on the streaming service.
– Red Cap Jack
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