Oct 17, 2017

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Fright Night Challenge 17: Gerald’s Game

A couple with a failing marriage goes to their country house for some sex games involving handcuffs. But the titular Gerald’s Game stops before it really even starts when Gerald has a heart attack leaving his wife, Jessie, to fend for herself out where no one can hear her. It’s made by the same director as Hush and Ouija: Origin of Evil and it shows. It is a very effective Stephen King movie. The horror elements come mainly from the premise; thirst and hunger will make you weak fast, being forced into a single position for a length of time will make your limbs react badly. Add to the mix a hungry, large stray dog and blood and you have an environmental horror story for the ages.

I liked Gerald’s Game despite that fact that there’s a subplot of child sexual abuse, implied adult sexual abuse and the eating of a human. The gore is pretty minimal though. For some reason, it still manages to combine a lot of the things I love about Stephen King’s stories. And the explanation why is just plain spoilery.

So, our protagonist, Jessie, begins to hallucinate very early on in the film. She starts to see her dead husband, and soon enough, herself. I really appreciated all the things the banter and bickering of these two hallucinations worked to reveal character over and over and over again. When the Moonlight Man enters the scene, it seems like another fabrication. And in the end (haha, not even sorry), I love me a good hopeful ending. Jessie got rid of a controlling, abusive husband, came through empowered and powerful and now knows that she’s got a whole life to look forward to. And I am here for happy endings. Because I am just that sappy.

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