This year is seeing a Stephen King resurgence, with the release of The Dark Tower and IT, and while the results for these films have been hit and miss, King’s horror roots are showing once again in the trailer for Netflix’s adaptation of Gerald’s Game.
The 1992 novel is a harrowing captivity thriller, where a woman finds herself handcuffed with no chance of release. Unlike the other King adaptations this year, Gerald’s Game is more grounded and intimate, which arguably makes it all the more terrifying.
Seeming to retain the book’s basic plot, the trailer sees Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood as Jessie and Gerald Burlingame – a couple whose romantic retreat to a secluded cabin in Maine turns into a grisly ordeal when Gerald handcuffs Jessie to the bed as part of the titular game. Soon after, Gerald suffers a heart attack, and dies, leaving Jessie still chained to the bed, alone. There’s no neighbours around, no water in her reach and no cell phone. She’s completely alone.
Many considered this book to be a story that was unable to be filmed, given that much of it takes place within protagonist Jessie’s mind. However, Mike Flanagan, the director behind Netflix horror gem, Hush, and more recently Ouija: Origin of Evil, saw an opportunity, explaining to Thrillist in a recent interview that he was drawn to the story precisely because of this difference that sets it apart from King’s more fantastical horrors:
“The horror of it is borne out of repressed trauma and it’s set against this immediate survival story. But there are no distractions. There are no other humans in this room. The threats aren’t a monster coming around the corner or a ghost crawling down the stairs. The threat is time.”
Gerald’s Game arrives on Netflix September 29th.