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Rated 3.01 stars
by 218 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
50 Shades of Horror
by Betty Jo Tucker

The film version of Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game is disturbing, scary and well done. Co-starring Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood, it tells the story of what happens when a longtime married couple try to spice things up in a secluded cabin where no one can hear any noises they make. Gugino (Wolves) excels as the wife who has agreed to participate in hubby Gerald’s sex game. The lovely, talented actress delivers the best performance of her career in this frightening horror outing. Jessie, her character, finds herself handcuffed to the bed after Gerald dies of a heart attack while trying to persuade her to show more enthusiasm for the “game.”

Watching Jessie try to survive this terrifying situation may be exhausting for some viewers, but Gugino’s extraordinary acting is their reward.  And the always watchable Greenwood (Double Jeopardy, Kingsman: The Golden Circle) adds gravitas to his difficult role here.      

Wife was ready for hubby’s game

until it changed from fun to shame.

She didn’t want a game of scares

with handcuffs and such sexy dares.


But this tale comes from Stephen King,

so buckle up, let horror ring.

Reality or just a dream --

like ones that make you squirm and scream?


Gugino plays this woman scared

with all emotions fully bared.

She makes the film a sure must-see.

But not for youngsters, no sir-ree!


Greenwood is fine as older spouse,

one we suspect might be a louse.

Uncomfortable we viewers are

at scenes that go a bit too far.


Still horror fans will see such gore

the likes of which reach to their core.

That’s what they want in films like these.

And Gerald’s Game is made to please.

Directed and co-written by Mike Flanagan (Ouija: Origin of Evil), Gerald’s Game surprised me with its depiction of a marriage in trouble and the depth of exploration into Jessie’s character.  Even though I felt disgusted by one scene focusing on a younger Jessie (Chiara Aurelia) and her father (Henry Thomas), it seems important to help us understand her personal demons.   

This horror flick does a great job making viewers have difficulty deciding what’s real and what isn’t, especially where a stray dog and giant trespasser are involved. Be prepared for chills up and down your spine during those sequences!

(Released by Netflix and rated TV-MA.)

For more information about Gerald’s Game, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.

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