“The Gift” is a 2015 thriller from first time director Joel Edgerton. The movie stars Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Edgerton himself. The plot deals with a married couple, Simon and Robyn, who encounter an old high school acquaintance of Simon’s, Gordon also known as Gordo. Soon after meeting him, the couple start receiving gifts from the man and he starts showing up the house unannounced.
First and foremost, the previews for the movie are all misleading. They would make the movie seem like something of a horror movie but it is something totally different from that. It is instead a methodical movie where not everything is totally laid out for you and forces the audience to pay attention. There are a few jump scares within which work to great effect as they are not expected.
There is a relatively small cast within the film. It mainly focuses on Bateman, Hall and Edgerton and the three carry the movie. Edgerton is playing against type here as someone who has played a lot of bad guys is playing something of a human manifestation of an abused puppy as he is always fidgety and awkward in situations. Hall, at first seems like she is going to play the typical housewife, but as the movie unfolds we learn much more about her character and all of the depths that goes within. Bateman is the true standout as he is certainly playing against type. With a few exceptions, he has been playing something of the dogged nice guy but here he is the total opposite. Without giving away too much, many will describe his character as a “jerk” and that’s putting it nicely.
Edgerton really impresses with his directorial debut here. It is a small budgeted film so there is nothing too fancy going on in this film. However, Edgerton manages to do the most with what he has and that is create an effective film. He plays with mood and atmosphere and keeps the audience intrigued through the entire ordeal. This is an impressive film and is also highly recommended as well.