For centuries of western culture, religion and politics, the woman has been the docile, forced into marriage as defined by the culture, not a deity (there was no marriage in Eden, or Biblically, pre-patriarchy), and to stay there: out of fear perhaps, psychological-cultural pressure, abuse, no place to go, for the children, her property often in the control of the husband, her life defined and limited by the fact of a marriage over which she had no control. See http://martinlutherstove.blogspot.com/2013/05/news-for-doma-woman-she-was-wife-she.html/. She became, as Marge Piercy descibes, a basket a man could put his buns in, see http://exceptindreams.livejournal.com/91327.html Generally. Even before divorce offered an option, the man could spend his time elsewhere.
Now, see Gone Girl, the film. If your area is like ours (northeast US), the theater was silent as the closing credits rolled. Disbelief, resentment, disquiet. Mutterings. Little excited chatter. Couples mute.
1. Spoiler alert. The movie jars and people remained immobile, why? Consider: deprive the man of choice, and the culture jars. Deprive the woman of choice, and the culture cheers.
Consider: One reason for the sensed-audience agitation may well be the turning of tables on traditional values. Here, a man, card-carrying randy man, is forced to remain in a marriage he may/may not want for whatever reasons, but the choice is not his. Force, psychological pressure, on end.
For centuries, it has been the woman who has been compelled to marry, and once married, compelled to stay there with little realistic, cultural alternative. She may have protested, see her in 1865 at http://bogomilia.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html, a story from Peterson's magazine 1865, that she is left at home with the children while husband is out enriching his masculine mind.
2. A man actually in the position of a woman, no choice in his life, no exit strategy except extremes? Amy did did it. She put him there. No-one would condone her methods, but her life had been circumscribed, exploited by her mother and father before her, and she merely continues the tradition. No matter her failures as a child, those morphed into fictional success by those exploiting her, offering her no validation for her human limitations. So, this is a girl with free rein. Your failures will be magically changed. Create the fiction afterwards, and you will be fine. Even through deaths of others, and, who knows as to levels of self.
If the film limited her impact to self and women, stereotypes would be buttressed. The neurotic, the sociopath. Web in a man to ongoing control, and there is dismay. So: Gone Girl become Gone Guy.
And nobody followed up the boxcutter? Nobody bothers. Why? Ah, yes. Once in Love With Amy. Ray Bolger. Boom, boom, boom boom-boom boom-boom.