Gone Girl stars future Batman and the scariest performance ever. It is about their love at first sight, marriage, and psychopathic resentment they have towards each other. It is also directed by David Fincher who after Panic Room, Se7en, and Zodiac, has officially made me scared of life. I present to you with caution, Gone Girl.
I try to stay away from using the term “on the edge of your seat” because it is overused just for hyperbole. But in this movie, I was uncomfortable, scared, and literally on the edge of my seat because my emotions were being played with so much and I couldn’t sit still. This is such a bizarre, brilliantly made movie that keeps you thinking and in suspense the whole way.
Ben Affleck’s performance is solid, held back and very subtle. I mentioned before this movie had the scariest performance ever. I of course was talking about Rosamund Pike. This woman is literally insane and you more than believe her performance throughout. Not just her acting, but the way we slowly saw her character become more crazy as the story continues we not only are blown away by what she does, but by how normal she seems. Only the audience and Affleck’s character realize she is psychotic and delusional. That’s what makes this movie and her performance so scary; she appears to be a normal person that everybody knows, but she’s not. And that makes me think of people who could be like that in real life.
David Fincher is one of the greats working today. He makes flawless movies in terms of craft and image. He creeps into your mind and instills fear by tapping into your primal instincts. That is what we find scary. When we something that could so easily happen to us, scares us. Alfred Hitchcock knew this and that is why he is the best at suspense. Fincher realizes this too. My dad can’t watch Se7en again because he says it’s too disturbing. I agree but it’s not because we see anything revolting happen. We only see it through the dialogue and descriptions of what happened. Visually, it is not that scary, but the sense of danger and unpredictability scares us. The same goes for Zodiac. Very few murders actually are shown on screen. And yet Fincher is known for his suspense and violence. That is a truly talented director.
Fincher also made this movie with his long time collaborator Jeff Cronenweth. Together they made a monotone, dark and gritty film that made it look phenomenal. That’s another staple of Fincher that I love. It really helps with the overall tone too. It’s definitely not cheery in any way but keeps your attention.
The music in hear I thought worked really well too. I’ve heard complaints that it was too strange and took away from the movie. I disagree. I thought it captured the moment and hit all the right cues. It is very different. There’s not the typical orchestral scores or eery music. It’s a combination of who knows what that does make you aware of it but retains you in that state of suspense.
Supporting cast members like Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris did really good too. Perry was unbelievably good and totally unexpected. Harris did good but for me he stood out too much and took me out of his character who was interesting but could have been cast better. I was just waiting for him to say “legen… wait for it… dary.”
What acted as minor comic relief in this was when the news and media kept on trying to interview Affleck and find out more about his wife. The media is relentless, never leaving him or his sister alone. Part of the movie dealt with Affleck and Perry’s characters trying to spin the media more towards his side. Perry makes a couple jokes and cracks about that and does it well. It seemed very realistic the way they talked about trying to make themselves look good and the way the news only covered what got them views. This was personified by the recurring entertainment host or whatever she was. She was an idiot but that’s beside the point. But this movie showed that dynamic very effectively in my opinion
This next paragraph will contain SPOILERS because it has been out for a while and the ending was very strange and unexpected. Basically his wife returns to their house after killing Harris and the two of them keep up the charade of being a couple deep in love. First of all, I did not mind how they did it. I wouldn’t have ended it that way but it still worked for me. I like how it was left open so that we know that they’re going to continue hating each other but making it seem otherwise. Affleck felt he had to because she was pregnant which is honorable I guess but that’ll be one messed up baby when it grows up. What I didn’t like was that they didn’t really conclude the story with the detective. She was suspicious of Pike when she returned but nothing happened of it. I just would have liked to seen more around the investigation. I did however love the last scene ending the same way it began. You know you went through an experience when you see that scene again in a whole different light.
Overall, I enjoyed this entire movie. The ending left some loose ends but I was hooked the whole time. I wouldn’t think this would have great replay value but I really want to watch it again. It is incredibly well made with excellent pacing. Rosamund Pike’s performance was beyond excellent and is on of Fincher’s best. Highly recommended, one of 2014’s bests.