Psychological thrillers depict the unstable or delusional psychological states of its characters. They focus on the complex and often tortured relationships between obsessive and pathological characters. In this edition of Trends of Terror, film critic Steve Hutchison reviews 64 psychological thrillers sorted from best to worst. How many have you seen?
Better than sex!
Writer and director Mike Flanagan, assisted by writer Jeff Howard, adapted what some assumed nearly impossible to adapt; a novel from Stephen King about a woman handcuffed to her bed frame after her husband died from a heart-attack in the midst of a sexual game. This happens twenty minutes in and the rest is pure mental gymnastics. The result is fascinating.
Three questions arise. First, did Stephen King cheat his way out of such a powerful gimmick? Second, the same question applies to the screenwriters. Last, but not least, is Gerald’s Game any good, considering the restrictive premise? Well, it’s an imaginative way of telling a story but the story isn’t that interesting. It’s touching, it’s twisted, it’s surprising, but it’s not that entertaining.
Gerald’s Game won’t go easy on you. It’s highly intellectual, deeply emotional and truly shocking. This is not just a horror movie about vanilla BDSM gone wrong. It’s a story of remorse and regrets. Let’s put it this way; whatever frustrates you in the second act will play out for the best by the third one. This film gradually grows on you until all hell breaks loose.