With Gerald’s Game, Netflix is riding the current resurgence of Stephen King properties. While THE DARK TOWER has quickly been forgotten and IT has been taking the box office by storm, there is an awakened interest in King’s works. The source of the same name is a novel from 1992, and one that isn’t as prolific or prevalent as most of what we see of King’s on screen.
The film stars Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood. They give incredibly strong performances as a married couple on a weekend getaway in an attempt to reboot their marital intimacy, Greenwood plans a weekend of sexual exploration thru the guise of roleplaying and more perverse sexual fantasies. Needless to say, it all goes horribly wrong.
Gugino and Greenwood give very strong performances, albeit set in their typecast, they still do a very fine job. They have been two actors who have consistently put out solid performances over the past few decades, yet remain somewhat unnoticed by the mainstream of Hollywood. That probably won’t change after this film.
The alluring nature of this film is the darker side of sexuality. The viewer is promised, straight from the Netflix artwork that this is going to be a kinky film. But it really isn’t. The film slowly slides into an unoriginal formula that has been done the same way countless times, and there isn’t much that sets this apart from a run of the mill television film aside from a singular scene of a grotesque situation and some heavy swearing.
Aside from Gugino and Greenwood the two supporting roles are played by an awkward Henry Thomas as Gugino’s father in flashbacks, and TWIN PEAKS fan favorite Carel Struycken as the mysterious man that is a confusing addition to the story that gets a rather rushed and confusing explanation of who he is.
Once the film closes and attempts to bring the story closure, it just doesn’t make sense. The intrigue that is promised from a King story isn’t really here. It’s not a bad film, but from the talent involved, and from a Netflix Original, it already set itself to a higher standard. There’s really nothing kinky, alluring, or mysterious about GERALD’S GAME at all. It’s just there.