The Netflix Stephen King Dark Thriller That Will Keep You Awake All Night

By Charlene Badasie | Published

The 2017 psychological horror thriller Gerald’s Game is available to stream on Netflix. Directed by Mike Flanagan, the movie is based on the 1992 Stephen King novel of the same name. The film stars Carla Gugino as Jessie Burlingame and Bruce Greenwood as Gerald Burlingame, with Henry Thomas, Carel Struycken, and Kate Siegel in supporting roles.

What Is Gerald’s Game About?

Gerald’s Game follows married couple Jessie and Gerald Burlingame as they travel to a remote lake house to rekindle their relationship. During a kinky sex game, Gerald suddenly dies from a heart attack, with Jessie handcuffed to the bed. Trapped and isolated, Jessie must confront her traumatic past and her inner demons and find a way to survive.

Jessie’s Hallucinations

At one point in Gerald’s Game, a dog enters the house through the open door. Jessie attempts to frighten it away, but it ends up biting a portion of Gerald’s arm. Gerald then stands up and starts a conversation. But Jessie soon realizes that she is hallucinating as she observes his lifeless body on the floor.During this hallucination, he mocks her, revealing uncomfortable truths about their troubled marriage. Moreover, he warns her about the onset of dehydration and fatigue. Jessie also hallucinates a more confident version of herself that candidly addresses aspects of her relationship with Gerald that she had been afraid to confront.

Facing Reality

After reliving horrors from her past, Jessie finds a way to free herself. Six months later, she writes a letter to her younger self, revealing the painful truths she endured during her entrapment. She reflects on her choice to feign amnesia as a coping mechanism, sparing herself from the torment of confronting the painful questions surrounding her ordeal resulting from Gerald’s game.Using part of Gerald’s life insurance, Jessie creates a foundation to support victims of sexual abuse, transforming her trauma into a force for positive change. Gerald’s Game ends with an expected twist, revealing what was real and imaginary while Jessie was trapped.

Gerald’s Game Becomes A Global Hit

Development on Gerald’s Game began in 2014 when Mike Flanagan expressed interest in adapting the Stephen King novel. Flanagan, known for his work in horror, collaborated with Jeff Howard to write the screenplay. However, the challenge lay in adapting a story primarily set in one location. The film was produced by Intrepid Pictures and was eventually released by Netflix.Gerald’s Game had its world premiere at the 2017 Fantasia International Film Festival before being released on Netflix in September 2017. The streaming platform’s distribution allowed the film to reach a wide audience globally. The movie received positive reviews from critics and audiences who praised Flanagan’s direction and Gugino’s performance.

Gerald’s Game Is Streaming On Netflix

The film’s ability to effectively translate the psychological horror elements from the novel was also hailed. At the time, Carla Gugino mentioned that filming Gerald’s Game required a great deal of trust between her and Flanagan as the movie delves into themes of trauma and survival. Bruce Greenwood wore special prosthetics to appear deceased during some scenes.

Mike Flanagan went on to direct other successful projects, including The Haunting of Hill House and Doctor Sleep, which, like Gerald’s Gamehave been popular with viewers and critics.