I won't be doing a full review of Gerald's Game, the new Netflix original movie directed and co-written by Mike Flanagan. Not for now, at least; I have vague plans to read and blog about the novel before 2017 is over, and when that happens, that will be followed by a full review of this new movie.
It will be worth examining fully, no doubt about that.
Bottom line: it's pretty damn great. This might not hold true for you if you don't like the novel, I guess; and I can imagine some people being a little bored by it for a while in the beginning.
None of those things apply to me, though.
The movie's chief virtue is almost certainly the casting of Carla Gugino, who is Oscar-nomination good as Jessie. She might have to settle for an Emmy nomination, since this will be classified as a television movie. (For the record, the arbitrary distinction between what does and doesn't count as a "movie" is mostly an antiquated one at this point. And I'll tell you what, if Netflix is going to be doing movie of this caliber, that "mostly" is going away quick.)
Bruce Greenwood is every bit as good playing Gerald, whose role here is beefed up (pardon the pun) in comparison to the novel; but in a way that completely honors the intent of the novel.
Director Mike Flanagan has said he's a massive fan of both King in general and Gerald's Game specifically, and unlike some of the hacks who have said things like that in their interviews about the King properties they were "adapting" this year, Flanagan can obviously be taken 100% at his word. It's been a while since I read the novel, but my memory tells me that this is very faithful indeed. How nice it is to see a King adaptation that runs toward its source material rather than away from it!
Flanagan has been making a name for himself in the horror genre for a few years now. This is the first of his films that I've seen, but it won't be the last: I'm going to make an effort to catch up on Oculus and Hush and maybe even Ouija: Origin of Evil over the course of the next few weeks, because it seems (a) like I owe it to the guy and (b) that it'll be its own reward. He's got a strong, confident style here; this novel had been deemed unadaptable for years, but it turns out that all it needed was for Mike Flanagan to come along. "Unadaptable my ass," you can practically hear him saying. "Get me Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood and a dog, and we'll see about that."
There's plenty more to be said, but for now, I think that'll suffice. Get yourself to Netflix and check it out!