“This reminds me of…” Raising Cain and Gerald’s Game

– Mild spoilers head – There are two story-ending mechanisms that need comparison before drawing parallels between the above mentioned two films. One is a fairly commonly used twist at the climax; something that is viewed through the eyes of the protagonist and is assumed to be real that subsequently revealed to be not so. This has been shown in films many times and in spite of being the more commonly used technique it works effectively as long as it’s done well (I would cite David Fincher’s Fight Club as an example of this mechanic executed with skill).

The other twist however is much more interesting as it is a reversal of the above; there is an assumption through the protagonist’s gaze that something isn’t real, which is later proven to be very real indeed. The mistaken assumption here can be due to various reasons; mental illness, substance use, extreme stress or hunger – anything that can make one question his/her own senses, judgement and perception. I was only able to reference one movie as an example of this twist-reversal – Brian De Palma’s 1992 thriller Raising Cain – until I saw Gerald’s Game (directed by Mike Flanagan) recently. The two films don’t have much in common overall, except for a twist ending that reveals someone previously assumed to be a figment of the imagination to be real and to have had an impact on the plot. Since I can’t really point to other films that use this unique story-ending mechanic (although I’m sure there are more out there please let me know if you have any examples), I thought the similarity was worth pointing out here. I highly recommend watching both films if you haven’t yet, not just to compare and contrast, but for their own merit. Raising Cain in particular has been one of my favourite films for many years, while somewhat overlooked by the consensus.


~ by arpadlukacs on September 30, 2018.

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