Gerald's Game Crypt Creeper - AKA the "Moonlight Man" - is based on a notorious real-life killer. From the moment Stephen King broke through with his first published novel Carrie, production companies have rushed to adapt his books for movies and TV. This naturally began with Brian DePalma's haunting version of Carrie and continued with The Shining, Dead Zone, and John Carpenter's Christine. While there's rarely been a period where his work hasn't been adapted, there was something of a lean period following the release of The Mist in 2007.
Major studios are now back in the Stephen King business, thanks to the success of 2017's IT and Pet Sematary, and the upcoming adaptation of his Shining sequel novel Doctor Sleep. Gerald's Game is another adaptation that arrived on Netflix in 2017. The movie stars Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood as married couple Jessie and Gerald who arrive at an isolated cabin, where Gerald wants to play a kinky game to spice up their failing relationship. He ties Jessie to a bed but after a heated argument, Gerald suffers a heart attack and dies, leaving Jessie chained with no hope of rescue.
Gerald's Game was helmed by Mike Flanagan, who has become one of the most prolific genre directors of recent years. He's also directed Hush and The Haunting of Hill House. Gerald's Game was thought to be borderline unfilmable, but Flanagan managed to find a way to make the concept cinematic. Throughout the story, Jessie is visited by a giant man that is dubbed the "Moonlight Man," who appears to represent death coming to collect her. There are, however, hints he's real, including a news report about a grave robber in the area during the opening scene and bloody footprints on the floor after he leaves.
After Jessie finally escapes by slicing her wrist and using the blood to painfully slick her way out of the shackles, she confronts the Moonlight Man and pops her wedding ring in his bag of trinkets. In the final scenes of Gerald's Game Jessis has found the strength to come to terms with her past, including being molested by her father, and launched a foundation for those who have also suffered sexual abuse. She also learns her visitor was actually real and is a man named Raymond Andrew Joubert, who is dubbed the "Crypt Creeper" in the press. Joubert suffers from a disorder known as acromegaly and is played by Carel Struycken (Twin Peaks).
Gerald's Game Crypt Creeper earned his name from digging up graves to steal from the dead and molesting corpses. His crimes were based on those of real-life killer Ed Gein, who murdered two women in the 1950s and exhumed the graves of the recently deceased and made objects out of body parts. His disturbing crimes became so infamous they would later inspire movies like Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Silence Of The Lambs.