Just Because You're Done With the Past, Doesn't mean the Past is down With You
The Gift is directed and written by Joel Edgerton (Warrior, Exodus: Gods and Kings) - Edgerton also has a starring role in the film. The film also stars Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses, Identity Thief) and Rebecca Hall (The Prestige, The Town). "A young married couple's lives are thrown into a harrowing tailspin when an acquaintance from the husband's past brings mysterious gifts and a horrifying secret to light after more than 20 years". Will The Gift follow in the footsteps of fellow 2015 stalker movie 'The Boy Next Door' or will it be what that movie should have been?
The Gift is a fantastic movie. It is definitely what 'The Boy Next Door' should have been and got everything right that that movie got wrong. The Gift is tense, disturbing and very creepy. However, I will say that in the UK, it has been sold as a horror movie which I will say that it is not - there are a few jump scares but this movies true horror is more about the idea.
So, the biggest worry I had about this film when going in was whether Jason Bateman was able to pull off a solid serious performance as he has recently become known for playing comedic roles. However, I thought he did a fantastic job and I definitely took him seriously! I do believe though that this wasn't Bateman's movie and that Rebecca Hall was the star of the show. I thought she did a nice job but I didn't believe her performance 100% of the time. Joel Edgerton played a fantastic stalker! - you could see a change in his actions at the start of the movie to the end which helped show what a sinister character he was.
I thought that this movie was extremely intelligent. I thought it was interesting that Simon (Bateman) wasn't as innocent as he seemed and there was reasoning for Gordan's (Edgerton) actions. I also thought it was interesting how the tables turned at the end of the movie - SPOILER: its now Bateman who is feeling all of the pain and misery that Edgerton felt when he was a child. At the start of the film, I did wonder whether I would actually find Gordan creepy as he seemed just like a normal quiet person but as soon as she started doing weird things, he did become very creepy. The big twist at the end was extremely disturbing but very effective - I kind of liked how they left it in the audiences' mind for whether a certain thing was carried out - very good! If you are at all interested in seeing The Gift (which you should be), I'd advise you to see it as soon as possible so others around you do not spoil it.
The atmosphere and tone that was created throughout the film helped to make it one of the best thrillers of the year. I was very weary of not only Gordan but also Simon - I couldn't tell which character was more innocent. The few jump scares that did occur were also very effective - there was probably about 3 in total and because the technique wasn't overused, the audience screamed each time. The big reveal at the end was up there with Prisoners for one of the most uncomfortable/disturbing things I have had to watch - The Gift is definitely not something I will forget.
The Gift is truly a gift to audiences - it is a little slow at times and some of the acting from Hall is a little rocky. The Gift is one of the best thrillers of the year even though it is not as scary as it wants to be. The twist is unpredictable and the whole film is extremely intelligent. Unwrap The Gift!
What did you think of THE GIFT? What is your favourite thriller of the year?