Saturday, September 26, 2015

Review: The Gift

Starring: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton
Directed by: Joel Edgerton
Language: English
Rating: R
Running Time: 108 minutes

October is soon approaching and that means that scary movies will be occupying the theaters. I feel like at this time we have a few thrillers to keep us entertained for a while and this is one of them.

Simon and Robyn, a young married couple, move from the city to the suburbs to have a fresh start in their lives. Simon is moving up in his career and him and his wife would love to make another attempt at creating a family. While getting settled in their new home and becoming acquainted with the neighbors, they come across an old classmate of Simon's, Gordo. During their reconnection, Gordo awkwardly tries to create a friendship with the couple and constantly leaves gifts on their doorstep.

Coming into this movie, I assumed that The Gift was a horror movie, but it falls under the spectrum of a mystery thriller. I also was afraid that it would resemble the disappointment of 2009's The Box with Cameron Diaz and James Marsden. Instead, it does a successful job keeping you guessing and on your toes as these three characters continue to interact with each other. Simon and Robyn show a gradual display of their rocky foundation, during their move, and it contributes to the tension surrounding them with a standout performance from Joel Edgerton as Gordo. He has a definite feeling of awkwardness about his character and you want to completely sympathize with him, even though at times he makes you feel a bit uneasy. Whether he's onscreen or off, he feels like a threat to our main characters.

While the story may seem cliche or even simple, it does take a different direction with its delivery. There were times I tried to predict what would happen: what's hiding in the shadows or what could the next gift be. Often times, I was incorrect with my guesses, which made me enjoy it a little more because that tension made Gordo all that more of a threat and brought out the couple's true colors.

The Gift was kind of a refreshing thriller that kept me thinking and at the same time on the edge of seat. It is acted very well and Edgerton delivers of a performance that provokes sympathy and fear. The movie also encourages you to think and discuss what the real ending of this story is and with all that, it causes it to be a memorable film.

Rating: 3.5/5

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