A romantic weekend getaway seems an unlikely premise for a psychological thriller. But when Jessie Burlingame finds herself handcuffed to a bed with no one around to hear her screams, the terrifying ordeal that follows in Gerald’s Game is one of horror-master Stephen King’s scariest tales to date.
In Netflix’s newest thrill-ride, Carla Gugino (Watchmen, Sin City) offers an electrifying performance with glimpses of terror that seem so real, even the trailer is difficult to watch at times. After Jessie is handcuffed to the bed by her husband for a seemingly innocent game of foreplay, an unlikely accident leaves her stranded there. She’s mercy not only to anyone who may be lurking nearby, but also to the terrors of her own imagination.
Filming the Un-filmable
The story that unwinds over the course of Gerald’s Game is so much more complex than its seemingly straightforward premise. Jessie is haunted by real terrors as she’s bound and helpless, but she’s also forced to confront past traumas she’s repressed. The psychological terror that follows hints at deeper questions of how women are treated. No strangers to horror, Writer Jeff Howard and Director Mike Flanagan have adapted King’s thriller for Netflix. The pair teamed up previously for Ouija: Origin of Evil and Oculus. Flanagan has described Gerald’s Game as his “dream project.”
This truly is a dream project for me. So excited to be able to announce it. http://t.co/c8uFfkbS0j
— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) May 18, 2014
Flanagan himself has previously described the novel as “un-filmable.” In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he explained, “The biggest obstacle, when it comes to an adaptation for this, is that the protagonist is handcuffed to a bed, alone in a room, for the duration of the novel.” Flanagan seems to have overcome those challenges, describing the skills he utilized to bring Jessie’s terror to life. “I got to play a little bit with some of the techniques that I had started to explore in Hush, which in a lot of ways was a dry run for this movie, and in Oculus as well — kind of blending timelines, and delving into visual experiences characters are having that may or may not be real.”
With the recent critical success of IT, King fans have a lot to be excited about with this newest adaptation. King has offered his support of the film, calling it “Horrifying, hypnotic, terrific.”
Saw a rough cut of Mike Flanagan’s GERALD’S GAME yesterday. Horrifying, hypnotic, terrific. It’s gonna freak you out.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 11, 2017
Gugino is joined onscreen by Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek) as Gerald. The cast also includes Henry Thomas, Kate Siegel, and the ever-haunting Carel Struycken.
Gerald’s Game will be available on Netflix September 29.