Netflix’s Stephen King movie adaptation Gerald’s Game has now gotten an official premiere date. The horror thriller stars Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Henry Thomas and Twin Peaks‘ own Carel Struycken.
Based on the 1992 novel of the same name from prolific horror master King, Gerald’s Game tells the suspenseful story of a woman named Jessie Burlingame (Gugino) who accidentally kills her husband Gerald (Greenwood) while she is handcuffed to a bed during a kinky sex game. Stuck in a remote cabin with no hope of rescue, Jessie begins hearing voices and seeing hallucinations, including a spectral figure she comes to call The Space Cowboy (Struycken).
Netflix has announced that Gerald’s Game will premiere on Friday, Sept. 29th. Stephen King himself sang the movie’s praises in a tweet some months back, calling it “hypnotic” and “haunting.”
The film was directed by Mike Flanagan (Ouija: Origin of Evil) from a script by Flanagan and Jeff Howard. Coming in at just 332 pages, Gerald’s Game is one of Stephen King’s tighter stories, more along the lines of his thriller Misery than his big, sprawling multi-character epics like IT and The Stand. The harrowing story, which takes places mostly in one room and largely involves the lead character’s internal voices and some strange hallucinations (that may not actually be hallucinations), should be a great showcase for Gugino as her character slowly disintegrates from the trauma of her situation.
With Gerald’s Game hitting Netflix, Stephen King continues his utter domination of the pop culture landscape. Though the adaptation of his fantasy epic The Dark Tower tanked at the box office, there are high hopes for the upcoming movie version of IT – the trailer for which has scored lots of hits (with box office analysts further predicting that IT will set a September opening record). Audience Network also just premiered a crime TV series based on King’s Mr. Mercedes novel starring Brendan Gleeson. Amid all the King hype, Hulu has announced that they are producing a series called Castle Rock, which will mine the King mythos for horror stories (and there are plenty to mine).
Compared to the big-screen King adaptations everyone has been talking about, Gerald’s Game is somewhat of an under-the-radar project, but that seems fitting for a story that has always been considered one of King’s more modest works. Gerald’s Game may not be a big, involved, intricate thing spanning multiple dimensions but that may actually work in its favor. If the movie works, it could be the new Misery: a tight, nasty little thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat and doesn’t pound you over the head with tons of narrative acrobatics or heavy-handed themes.
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