We’ve said it before this year, and we’ll say it again. Stephen King is everywhere. We had IT, Mr. Mercedes, The Mist and now another film adaptation of the best selling book: Gerald’s Game. There are a few noticeable differences from the book. Some names have been changed like the dogs, and the strange man seen in the room.
The film goes straight to the action. To anyone that hasn’t read the book, all appears to be fine and dandy between the couple. The couple in question are seen packing to go to a cottage in the country. They both seem excited, though you can see the wife is hesitant.
We see the stray dog at the start and the wife treats it with respect, even giving it a $200 steak – not just any steak, a Kobe steak – as we are reminded by the husband many times throughout the film.
The husband has put a lot of effort into this weekend away. Paying to have the fridge stocked, the lawn cut and fresh sheets on the bed. It becomes more and more apparent that this is more for him than her, especially when it comes to the strange intimate scene. At first the wife tries to get into her husband’s fetish, not objecting when he places handcuffs on her hands that are attached to the bed. He asks her to try and get out, and it’s very obvious she cannot.
Once she has made it very apparent that this is not going to save their relationship, she stops whatever they are doing and they begin to argue. Suddenly the husband begins to have what looks like a heart attack and collapses on top of her. She pushes him off and he falls to the end of the bed. A pool of blood gathers by his head… as much as she calls him and coos him to wake up, it’s clear he is dead.
She quickly behinds to hallucinate imagining her husband alive again and herself. He starts to taunt her as she lays in bed trying her best to get out of the situation. While her own figure tries to keep her calm and guide her as best as she can to escape. Seeing this scene reminded us of the angel and devil on the shoulders that you see a lot in cartoons.
During the 2 days she is trapped to the bed, she finds a glass of water, creates a make-shift straw and begins to have flashbacks to her past. By night she see’s who she calls ‘Moonlight Man- a grotesque, huge, human with a box full of body parts and jewellery. Also, the stray dogs enters the room and begins to eat her husband slowly – even attempting to eat her when she slept.
She starts to accept that this is not the first time she has been trapped like this, the first time was with her father – who sexual abused her during a solar eclipse and cleverly persuaded her to never tell a soul. The last vision she has was smashing a glass in her hand as a child when her mother asked her if she was okay (the evening after the sexual abuse happened). She realises the only chance of escape she has is to smash the glass and slit her wrist very slightly to lubricate her hand. She does so – and in the process de-gloves her hand, but does escape.
She manages to unlock the key once her hand is free and escapes the house – not before bumping into the man she has seen in the corner of her room; she gives him her wedding ring and runs out –tries to drive but crashes into a tree. Luckily she is rescued and her hand is given 3 skin graphs.
She sets up a foundation to help those who have gone through abuse, and is happy… in the days. But by night- she is still haunted by the man she saw.
One day, 6 months later, she sees the same man in the newspaper. It turns out he wasn’t a figment of her imagination. He was very real. A thief, murderer, necrophile, cannibal and rapist. Not the nicest chap, as you could imagine.
Once his trial date was set, she approached him. The papers had reported that he had not spoken a word since his capture, but when she saw him, he repeated the words she said to him when they last met in the house: ‘You’re not real. You’re made of moonlight’. This proved that it was indeed him in the house. She was lucky, he only sought after men – which is why she survived. It also became apparent that it was not just the dog that tore parts off her husband’s body.
Now content that she wasn’t crazy and the man who haunted her dreams was behind bars, she walks off (confidently) into the sunlight.
Overall it was a wonderful adaptation. Full of emotion, the acting was outstanding, the story followed very well. And it kept us thinking of it hours after watching.
Though – we had to look away during the very gory and graphic de-gloving scene. There’s one thing for sure, this is not for the faint hearted. But, if you’re in the mood to be shocked and fascinated with another Stephen King tale, this is the one for you!