Gerald's Game goes to Netflix

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80sFan

Just one more chapter...
Jul 14, 2015
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I thought it was as good an adaptation that could be made for tv.
The part where Jessie cut her hand was EXACTLY how I pictured it in my head when I read the novel :Z:

My husband wasn't as impressed (he didn't read the book, though)...he compared it to a Lifetime movie. The only Lifetime movie he's ever watched is "A Good Marriage".
 
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Srbo

Uber Member
Mar 23, 2008
15,209
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Canada
  1. Creepy, creepy, creepy.
    Unbelievably well done, true to the book, fantastic performances by Bruce and Carla, who is , besides being a timeless beauty ( I can`t tell if she looks more beautiful now or 25 years ago ) also an acting giant, sadly often overlooked in HW.
    Hats off to Mike Flanagan, this is how you do a SK adaption, mix in a bit of your stuff but stay completely true to the novel.
    Especially because 95% of everything that's` happening, is actually in Jessie`s mind......and he did a fantastic job of transforming that into moving pictures.
    Did I say it was creepy?
    It was focking creepy, man, focking creepy indeed.
 

Gerald

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Sep 8, 2011
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I'm about to watch it NOW. It's my favorite story by Stephen. The only book that has really scared the **** outta me!

I had that too. On the whole I don't find the books that scary (the short stories often more so). This was also the one I read the quickest, I justy had to know how it went on. Read it in three days or so - ok, it's not that long, but even a short book can seem long sometimes.

1922 is coming to Netflix here this month, still no word on this one though...
 

Doc Creed

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Nov 18, 2015
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he compared it to a Lifetime movie
LOL...that's what I said in my review. I mostly praised this movie but, to me, it wasn't that scary, not even the Space Cowboy scene. As I said before, the director made some smart choices and creatively jumped hurdles such as the previous belief that the book was unfilmable. I didn't feel the urgency or fear that I experienced in the book, unfortunately.

*I will say that Lifetime did a fantastic job with that other novella from Full Dark, No Stars...the title escapes me right now.
 

lovely1

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May 16, 2010
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Trinidad and Tobago
LOL...that's what I said in my review. I mostly praised this movie but, to me, it wasn't that scary, not even the Space Cowboy scene. As I said before, the director made some smart choices and creatively jumped hurdles such as the previous belief that the book was unfilmable. I didn't feel the urgency or fear that I experienced in the book, unfortunately.

*I will say that Lifetime did a fantastic job with that other novella from Full Dark, No Stars...the title escapes me right now.

It was Big Driver. I agree that they could have upped the fear factor/horror, but I think the horror was more in the situation that she found herself in.
 

Dana Jean

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Doc Creed

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Here's a nice interview with the director and producer about their history trying to get the film made, and the filming itself. Not too many spoilers here, but it should probably be read after viewing the movie.

Exclusive Fantastic Fest ’17 Interview: Director Mike Flanagan and Producer Trevor Macy talk adapting Stephen King’s “Gerald’s Game” | Rue Morgue
Also, it was filmed in Mobile and Fairhope which are both in Alabama and about twenty miles apart. The setting in the movie is even changed to Fairhope, AL. One of Fannie Flagg's homes is located there and she even based her novel A Redbird Christmas on this area. I've been a couple times in summer and it is a beautiful place full of artists and creative personalities; quiet and semi-quirky. There is a famous bookstore there called Page and Pallette, too.
 

mal

content
Jun 23, 2007
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I just finished watching it a while ago. I thought it was done very well. I had to hide my eyes behind my arm for a few shots! It was fairly true to the book. My only disappointment, and it's a minor one,
I wish he would have done better in the part where the man was standing in the dark corner on the first night. Was he there? Was it just a shadow? It could have been more mysterious and quiet and dark and more drawn out for tension to build...quiet, branch shadows, then a slow reveal; but it seemed quick and quirky...he could've milked that for a lot more. That's more how I saw it in my head when I read the book and it is one of the more scarier Stephen King scenes that I've read over the years.
All in all, great direction, great cast, great production. I was most impressed with the font they used for the title sequence. A Garamond can go a long way when setting tone and mood!
 

lovely1

Well-Known Member
May 16, 2010
337
437
Trinidad and Tobago
I just finished watching it a while ago. I thought it was done very well. I had to hide my eyes behind my arm for a few shots! It was fairly true to the book. My only disappointment, and it's a minor one,
I wish he would have done better in the part where the man was standing in the dark corner on the first night. Was he there? Was it just a shadow? It could have been more mysterious and quiet and dark and more drawn out for tension to build...quiet, branch shadows, then a slow reveal; but it seemed quick and quirky...he could've milked that for a lot more. That's more how I saw it in my head when I read the book and it is one of the more scarier Stephen King scenes that I've read over the years.
All in all, great direction, great cast, great production. I was most impressed with the font they used for the title sequence. A Garamond can go a long way when setting tone and mood!

Agree when I read the book that was the creepiest/scariest part. I saw it in my mind as really subtle but very effective.
 

Steffen

Well-Known Member
Aug 9, 2015
2,233
12,800
I put two of the main paragraphs in my review in spoiler tags, in consideration of those who haven't seen the film as yet.

I watched this a second time today and I must say this is an exceptional work. The book was never cut out for a cinematic translation, and I think Netflix is the perfect medium for it. The production value is excellent. I'm always happy when I sit down to watch a film and it looks like a film, not something recorded on a cell-phone (don't know if I ever mentioned this, but I despise that overused shaky-camera technique, and if it's combined with those found-footage conceits, I ignore those films as a rule). Director Mike Flanagan makes some good decisions here, but I think his greatest strength is that of restraint. Considering the source material, it would have been tempting for a lesser talent to try and amplify events with the use of jump-scares or harsh musical cues. I like the fact that the majority of scenes contain little or no music, so you can really focus on the actors' performances. Consequently, the simple but beautiful piano-driven piece for the end-credits is all the more effective.

One change from the book I do like is that Flanagan keeps the multiple voices in Jessie's mind personified between Gerald and herself. Introducing other characters like her ex-psychiatrist and college room-mate would have distracted from the core story. The exposition is still there to move the plot along, but it allows for some top-notch performances by Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood. The latter in fact was recommended by Mr King himself and I can see why: Bruce nails it in every scene (the heart-attack, for instance, was very realistic without being over-the-top). I always wanted a Duma Key mini-series with Bryan Cranston in the lead, but I'll now add Greenwood to my wish-list.

Again, the bits with the dog and The Moonlight Man (a much better choice than The Space Cowboy) could have been more extreme, but Flanagan exercises some dexterity here as well. But oh wow, that de-gloving scene. That was not easy to watch. There are also some nice bits thrown in for the fans without it feeling too on-the-nose, including the Dolores Claiborne connection (I actually didn't think it would make the film). Henry Thomas also does some nice work here. That scene with him and Jessie on the swing may have been uncomfortable to watch, but the follow-up really made me despise the character for how he manipulated his daughter. It's far too close to so many real-life stories I've read about or heard from people who've sadly had similar experiences. Give me a creature-feature any day. I will watch the scariest, vilest monster on screen and not blink an eye. But what people do to each other will always eclipse anything I see in a "horror" film.

Overall, this was a pretty solid effort by everyone involved. I can't really find anything to grumble about. In the hands of lesser talent (both creative and cast) this could have been a mess. Thankfully, Mr King seems to be having a good year at the cinema (we shall not mention you-know-what). I hope Netflix shows an interest in some of his less-popular more mainstream stories (looking forward to 1922) after this, as I think it's the perfect platform for such.