by Alex Chiles, who you can find catching ALL the Stephen King references in this one on Twitter at @axchiles
One sentence review: Gerald’s Game offers an above average ride that begins with a solid but simple premise, a mostly-interesting-but-not-without-some-missteps middle bit, and an ending so awful you may regret the entire experience.
Full review: The 90-minute runtime of Gerald’s Game left me with a mostly positive experience. There are a few cringeworthy moments in terms of quality (I think the same film without the flashbacks could have been really effective), but otherwise this Stephen King adaptation is full of interesting images, solid acting, and foreshadowing that isn’t overshadowing. I was left with an overall feeling of being impressed that they made so much out of very little.
The problem? The film is actually 103 minutes long. The ending is objectively awful. It’s especially awful because it seems oh so unnecessary. The explanation it provides solves an issue that wasn’t actually a problem to begin with, giving real-life meaning to something that functions much more effectively and interestingly as symbolism. It also doesn’t feel like it belongs with everything that came before it. The pacing feels off, it’s clumsy, and it requires a strange exposition device so bad that it’s genuinely shocking.
Should a bad ending ruin an otherwise enjoyable experience? I’m not sure. For me, it taints it for sure, but I think over time I will forget the ending and choose to remember the good parts. The happy times. Before everything went horribly wrong.
Until the next solar eclipse, that is. Then I’m going to for sure have an unnecessary flashback.
Should you watch this movie? Yes, if you have the willpower to stop watching when the time is right. How will you know? You’ll know. I knew. There is a moment when you think the movie is over. It’s not. It should be. I should’ve stopped. Do what I couldn’t. Be better. You have the power.
Where? This is on Netflix only, so you can stream it anywhere. I wouldn’t watch it on an empty stomach though, thanks to an excruciating scene that I literally had to look away from.
Top 10 so far:
- Get Out
- The Big Sick
- Wonder Woman
- Wind River
- Lego Batman Movie
- Logan Lucky
- John Wick: Chapter 2
Honorable Mentions: Win It All & The Girl With All the Gifts
Where did this film end up?: Currently at #13, right ahead of its Netflix buddy Okja
Current Last Place: Kong: Skull Island
Interestingly, I may have, IN MY POSSESSION, a film that could compete for the coveted last place spot. I recently won the new Tom Cruise version of the Mummy, which you probably already forgot was a thing. I probably will NOT write about it to save you all, but I will try to watch it soon.
Special thanks to the Film Stage Show for doing movie giveaways. Want to a chance to win? Become a patron and start listening to the Film Stage Show. If you like my reviews but wish more knowledgeable people wrote them, it’s definitely the podcast for you.