Freaky Gerald

Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood in Gerald's Game (2017)
Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood in Gerald’s Game (2017)

Hi Everyone!  Well,  it’s October and it’s time to delve into fear, horror, and Halloween.   I’m going to start with the Netflix Original Gerald’s Game(2017), a movie directed by Mike Flanagan and based on the novel by the genius Stephen King.

Gerald’s Freaky!

Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) and Jessie (Carla Gugion) are in a marital slump.  In an attempt to spice up their failing marriage, the couple decides to head to a remote lake house.  They are driving to the house listening to the timeless “Bring it On Home to Me” by Sam Cook, which seems to disturb Jessie.  Anyways, it looks like it’s about to be on and poppin’ at the lake house Y’all.  Gerald takes his little blue pills and his handcuffs and he’s ready to give Jessie the business.  He cuffs Jessie to the bed and then  WHAM….he has a heart attack.  Poor Jessie is cuffed to the bed, her husband is dead, and there’s a hungry dog in the bedroom.  But the true challenge for Jessie is winning the fight for her sanity.

Jessie’s Internal Struggle

You know those cartoons that show a character with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on another?  This is what happens to Jessie.  On one side is her sadistic, dead husband urging her to give up on life and welcome death.  On the other side is another Jessie (conceited much?), urging her to stay alive and figure out a way to escape.  “Dead” Gerald and “Other” Jessie both torment and help her through the ordeal.  She is also terrorized by others…someone from her past that you can say led her to her present predicament, and someone or something that scares her (and me).

Hard Truths

Jessie’s fight for survival while dealing with some personal demons is classic Stephen King.  Sure monsters, Fredy Kreuger, and Jason are scary as hell, but they are adorable Snuggle teddy bears when comparing them to the demons we may have to face in our everyday lives.  For Jessie, it is confronting a past betrayal.  For Jack Torrance in The Shining, it is overcoming writer’s block.  Those poor kids in IT have to face all sorts of fears in that stupid town.  King has the gift of manifesting human plight into supernatural mania.  A mania that the main characters have to eventually face to win.

My Thoughts on the Movie

Overall, the movie wasn’t bad.  It had a few creepy moments.  There is one scene with those handcuffs that will make you sick it is so disturbing.  I was not crazy about Carla Gugino.  Her face seems vacant, or that she’s thinking about getting a can of Pringles on the way home.  Also, I thought that the Stephen King movie Dolores Claiborne (1995) tackled some of the themes better (how much do we love Cathy Bates!?).   But, if you have a few hours to spare, it’s not a bad watch.  Also, people please, for your safety, hug and feed your dog.  Let them know you appreciate them, but not enough to feed them the Kobe beef.

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