Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Countdown To Halloween // Day Eleven

Welcome back to day eleven of my countdown to Halloween series, where I share all of my favourite Halloween films. Today's film is...
Netflix Gerald's Game Film Review 2017 Stephen King

2017 has been a year full of Stephen King adaptations. From TV shows such as The Mist and Mr. Mercedes and films that include The Dark Shower, IT, 1922, Children of the Corn: Runaway and Gerald's Game. I have to be honest, even as a huge horror fan I still haven't got round to reading any of the Stephen King novels. However, I do seem to enjoy all of his film adaptations that I've seen, so when I saw all of the hype surrounding Gerald's Game, I was intrigued...

The film follows married couple Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) as they go off for a weekend away in the countryside, in the hopes that it will be just what they need to spice up their love life. Gerald has a plan: to handcuff Jessie to the bed and let their role-playing games commence. However, halfway through he suffers from a heart attack and dies...leaving Jessie still handcuffed. With all hope of being rescued lost, she must use her wits to find a way out...

I don't even know where to start with this film...Days later and I feel like I'm still reeling from what an incredible film this is. The premise had me fooled, I had this perception that it was going to be a very bad 50-Shades-esque film but I couldn't have been more wrong, it's so much more than that. The films opening sequence presents a lot of foreshadowing, from the secluded area they're in, to the very hungry stray dog lurking about, to the front door being left wide open... It gives you an eerie feeling that it's just a waiting game until it all goes wrong...

Directed by Mike Flanagan, whose previous work includes 
Oculus (2013) and Hush (2016) both of which, I absolutely loved. Flanagan has said to of first read the novel nineteen years ago, completely fallen in love with it and although at the time he felt the story was unfilmable, it had always been his total dream project for years. He even used to carry around a copy with him and take it to writer's meetings just in case anyone ever asked him what his ideal job would be...and his persistence certainly paid off and even though I haven't read the novel myself and don't know how the two compare, I think this is an incredible adaptation and probably one of the best Stephan King adaptations that there is. I think Flanagan is one of my favourite current horror directors because he realises that even in the horror genre, the story is the most important aspect. He doesn't resort to cheap techniques like excessive amounts of jumpscares. Instead, he delves deeper and makes the character development as extensive as it can be.

"If you care about the character, you'll care about the scare." 

Netflix Gerald's Game Film Review 2017 Stephen King

Jessie is played by Carla Gugino and although she's been in a whole array of films and television shows, I seemingly haven't watched any of them but she is an exceptional actress and deserves so much recognition for her role as Jessie Burlingame because she plays it so incredibly well. I read that while filming she was in the handcuffs for an overall time of three weeks, which is insane. This film is so much more than her just laying in a bed handcuffed, trying to think of an escape route. As she gets more tired and more dehydrated, she starts to have hallucinations and she finally has to come to terms with the dark events of her past and how they've made her the person she is today. The more you learn about her and what she's been through, the more you start to root for her and her survival and the more on edge you start to become.

When she finally becomes free, it is quite honestly the goriest scene that I've seen in a film in a long while. In fact, I can't think of anything that even compares to it. It was done with the use of prosthetics that were designed by make-up artist Bob Kurtzman and they're incredible. As make-up is a huge love of mine, I find that I can be very judgemental on poor prosthetics and special effects makeup but they really nailed it to look horrific yet believable. It's so good in fact, It's almost unbearable to watch.

Netflix Gerald's Game Film Blog Review 2017 Stephen King

I'm trying to keep this post as spoiler free as possible because this is a film that will definitely have more of an impact on you, the less you know going into it but I just have to mention "The Moonlight Man" who is played by Carel Struycken, who is most well known for his role in the Addams Family films. I've watched so many horror films over the years and through them I have experienced many psychotic killers and monsters but none have terrified me as much as him. I didn't sleep too easy the night after watching this.

Overall, this film is simply incredible and definitely a must watch this Halloween. It's definitely one that is a lot to watch and it really gets under your skin. It's one of those films that I feel you'll really love but probably feel like you only need to watch the once. Also, a sidenote: It features references of child abuse, so if this is something that triggers you, please give it a miss.

Netflix Gerald's Game Film Review 2017 Stephen King

"You're so much smaller than I remember."

Where to watch: Netflix

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