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The Gerald's Game Scene That Went Too Far

Before he cemented himself as a modern-day horror auteur with Netflix mini-series like "Midnight Mass," "The Haunting of Bly Manor," and "The Haunting of Hill House," Mike Flanagan spent the early part of his directorial career helming well-received thriller and horror flicks (via IMDb). Few of the titles that he made during those years, however, more effectively demonstrate Flanagan's ability to construct nail-bitingly tense horror films than "Gerald's Game."

Based on Stephen King's 1992 novel of the same name, "Gerald's Game" focuses on Jessie (Carla Gugino) when the unexpected death of her husband (Bruce Greenwood) during an intimate moment leaves her alone and handcuffed to a bed in a house in the woods. The film follows Jessie as she struggles to try and break free of her restraints before it's too late.

To say that Flanagan takes the story from King's novel and uses it to turn "Gerald's Game" into an endlessly intense, dread-filled 103-minute psychological thriller would be an understatement. The film is an effective showcase for Gugino, and Flanagan fills it with plenty of unforgettable images and sequences. That said, it turns out there's one moment in "Gerald's Game" that not only may have gone too far, but has also remained stuck in the minds of many of the film's viewers in the years since they first watched it.

Jessie's escape takes a heavy toll

Near the end of "Gerald's Game," Jessie is forced to resort to extremely painful measures in order to free herself from the handcuffs that have kept her trapped throughout the film. After breaking a nearby cup of water, Jessie uses a jagged piece of glass from it to cut her wrist and then, agonizingly, allows the skin of her hand to be peeled back as she pulls it free from one of the handcuffs. It's an undeniably brutal scene, one that is not only gory and bloody but is also accompanied the entire time by Jessie's screams of pain. Taking all that into account, it's easy to see why it's the scene in "Gerald's Game" that some viewers think probably went a little too far.

For instance, in a Reddit thread that encouraged users to discuss the movie scenes they've found the hardest to watch, u/Narrow_Drawer2947 wrote, "For some reason, the Degloving scene in 'Gerald's Game.' I've watched plenty of brutal movies, but for whatever reason that was ROUGH for me to watch." In response to that comment, u/pedrao157 admitted that they were "not ready for that" scene when it happened in the film and noted that they thought the brutality of the moment "seemed unnecessary." Elsewhere in the thread, u/thotkeys wrote, "That scene got me too. Normally I'm not bothered by gore in movies, but for some reason that degloving scene nearly made me faint."

All of this is to say that, for all of the many stress-inducing moments in "Gerald's Game," it's Jessie's bloody escape that packs a punch most viewers, understandably, just don't see coming.