“It was death you saw. And he’s coming back tonight.”
Story: A couple at their lake house try to spice up their relationship. But Viagra and a heart condition makes things fatal for husband Gerald. And with wife Jessie handcuffed to the bed in the middle of nowhere, her life may be winding down as well. At least she’s got her hallucinations to keep her company.
Scares: Psychological chills mostly, with a few icky bits of creep thrown in.
Splat factor: Some blood, and then a climactic scene that may be too much for the casual/non-horror fan. No exaggeration, that climax is ROUGH.
Closing scene “shocker”?: Nope.
Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: Based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King.
Trick or Treat?: I passed this one by for a while, just like I did the book. The subject matter – a woman trapped in a seemingly inescapable situation – was a bit too real sounding than my usual gang of make-believe monsters. I’m glad I watched though. It’s a painful, heart-wrenching story that sucked me in, and had me slack jawed and glued to the screen. Good job, movie.
King’s ability to create severely flawed characters that we identify with (and sometimes even care about) is transferred perfectly here. Writer/director Mike Flanagan (Occulus) strips things down to the gritty, horrible details. And as Jessie and Gerald, Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood dig into Jessie’s past, and all things she’s been trying to hide from herself. They deliver outstanding performances, and have an amazing onscreen chemistry that rings true.
Gugino’s performance is especially riveting. Jessie has to finally confront the things she buried deep in her mind. All the years she spent ignoring things, never objecting to things that made her uncomfortable, pretending to be happy. Now that she’s chained up with nowhere to go, things creep back into her thoughts. And Gugino drew me in to all of it.
This slow burn creeper is definitely worth a watch, but get ready to be unsettled for a good while after those credits roll.
Score: 5 out of 5 pumpkins.