LORELAI: Oh God. Mom has gone a little crazy with the figurines here, huh? A little Kathy Bates. Although you probably haven’t seen Misery, which is a good thing because Rory couldn’t sleep alone for a week after we watched it.
Misery is a 1990 thriller film directed by Rob Reiner, and based on the 1987 novel of the same name by Stephen King. The movie is about a popular romance novelist (James Caan) who is held captive by a crazed fan (Kathy Bates) so he can continue writing about her favourite character, named Misery. The movie was a success, and Kathy Bates won Best Actress at the Academy Awards for her role.
Lorelai is referring to the numerous figurines owned by Kathy Bates’ character, which the writer must be careful not to disarrange when he manages to sneak out of the room where he has been confined. Lorelai must feel that she is in a similar position, and the film also gives us a clue as to how trapped and tortured Lorelai felt when she lived with her parents.
Rory would have only been six when the film came out, so she and Lorelai must have rented it on video at some point when she was older. We don’t know how old she was (it might have been quite recently), but either way it was still too scary for her, and she had to sleep in Lorelai’s bed for a week afterwards.