Gerald's Game ★★★½

So much of Gerald's Game works. It reminded me of last year's Hush (turns out - same director!) in its claustrophobic atmosphere, and who doesn't love a good survival horror? Soon it mutates to become something more heavy and important, and as it shifts into being a parable for abuse it really takes off. It tackles toxic masculinity more artfully than Mother!, and when it wants to ratchet up the tension it can do so with gusto - one scene had me shouting "FUCK RIGHT OFF WITH THAT" to myself.

But those last ten minutes. You know how in Cast Away, you keep wishing it ended the minute the ship appears behind him on his raft but for some unknown reason limps on aimlessly for 30 more minutes? Well like Cast Away, Gerald's Game had the perfect ending in place, and then gives us a ten minute epilogue that is clumsy and muddled, and takes away so much of the power of the previous 90 minutes. Not only that but it feels lifted from an entirely different film. I get what it was going for, and there's one moment in the epilogue that is beautiful. But it's clunky and forced and I wish they had not put it in there. Without it it's a solid 4 stars but i've gotta take away half for that.

Still, it's absolutely worth a watch - particularly for Carla Gugino's dominating and masterful performance.