Having heard good things from Joel Edgerton’s The Gift critics I thought that I would take a trip to see it opening weekend. I’ll start by saying that thriller’s are one of my favourite genres of films but for me they have to deliver on one point; the storyline!
With Egerton not only writing and directing the film he also stars as the creepy yet vulnerable ‘Gordo’, he try to reconnect with his high school classmate ‘Simon’ played by Jason Bateman who has just moved back to the area after living in Chicago where her met his wife ‘Robyn’ played by Rebecca Hall. However things are not as they seem, as Gordo treats the couple to gifts they worry about his intent with his reconnection especially as things long buried in the past begin to unravel. How much can the couple take before they distance themselves from Gordo and what is the secret that causes tension between him and Simon.
I’ll start by saying that The Gift is a refreshing change to what we’ve seen at the cinema in the coming months. Personally I don’t like jump films like Sinister or the Paranormal Activity series because I’m the biggest wuss for jump scares! Don’t get me wrong The Gift is scary, but on a whole other level, the fact that this could happen in real life makes you question how you treated your classmates. There are a few jump scares but not so many it’s unbearable and the music by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans really ramps up the tension as we see Robyn following a noise in their spooky LA home.
The storyline lived up with the climax seeming very unpredictable. It also has a killer ending which will literally leave you shouting at the screen to know what happens next. As all thriller’s do it transitions characters throughout the film changing your opinion on them, just when you start to trust a character they do something to make you put your guard up against them.
If I did have one gripe against the film it would be that the storyline, although good, can be a little slow at times. I don’t think they should have changed anything that happened just maybe have sped them up and added extra events to help us understand the characters more. Especially in the scenes exploring Bateman’s character of Simon. Not that the film felt boring but the 108 minutes of the film felt allot longer.
If your sick of the big blockbusters and want to get a bit creeped out The Gift is definitely worth seeing. I hope we see more like this and less of the ghost horror films which seem a bit overcrowded especially as they’re as well written as this. Joel Edgerton excelled in all areas especially as Gordo who is definitely the highlight of the film. Bateman in a dramatic role was a nice change especially from his comedic roots. Rebecca Hall carried allot of the scenes by herself as well as most of the story, definitely an actress to keep an eye on with her upcoming role in The BFG set to release next year. The Gift is a refreshing change sure to give you the chills and make you check your back as you leave the cinema!