The Gift

Film, Thrillers
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
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The Gift

Actor Joel Edgerton makes a confident directorial debut with this enjoyably old-school, compellingly nasty home invasion thriller

Actor Joel Edgerton slips effortlessly behind the camera with this darkly unnerving psychological thriller in which the perfect life of a seemingly perfect couple is smashed to smithereens. ‘The Gift’ is Edgerton’s first directing gig and he also writes, produces and stars. Multi-tasking becomes him; this is an impressive debut, heart-racingly channelling the likes of ‘The Hand That Rocks the Cradle’.

Successful young couple Robyn (Rebecca Hall) and Simon (Jason Bateman) move into a peeping-Tom-friendly house made almost entirely of glass (their first mistake). They bump into Gordo (Edgerton), an oddball who says he went to high school with Simon, but starts turning up with creepy presents while Robyn is home alone. She begins to suspect that his sudden appearance may be her husband’s past coming back to haunt them.

‘The Gift’ spends most of its time keeping us guessing, but jumps wholeheartedly into a horrible, spine-tinglingly exhilarating climax. Edgerton lays on the tension – those windows really grate on your nerves – expertly delivering the old-school jumpy moments. Hall’s troubled, pill-taking Robyn is beautifully understated, a performance that gives the film an entirely plausible focus and balances Edgerton’s occasionally too weirdo-weird Gordo perfectly. ‘The Gift’ will have you triple-locking the doors and rushing to pull the curtains.

By: Daisy Bowie-Sell

Posted:

Release details

Release date: Friday August 7 2015
Duration: 108 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Joel Edgerton
Screenwriter: Joel Edgerton
Cast: Joel Edgerton
Jason Bateman
Rebecca Hall

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Tastemaker

This is a thriller/horror genre movie, the kind that was very popular in the early 1990s. 

Think "The hand that rocked the Cradle" or "Single white female"- if thats the kind of movie that you want, you will enjoy this. It feels quite up to date and it is an excellent addition to the psychological thriller canon. 

My main criticism of the film would be how unpleasant all the characters are. Had it been released in the 1990s it probably would have received 5 stars but we expect even villians to have some redeeming features now. 

Having said that, if you are in the mood for a creepy thriller, this film will satisfy that need very well. 


Tense thriller boasting a couple of genuinely jump-in-your-seat moments and a suitably slimy performance from Bateman. Three and a half stars.

Tastemaker

I never expected most of the cinema audience to laugh during a thriller , but that's what they did after the entire cinema had jumped about a foot in the air at a particularly tense part of the film, even though the music indicated that something was going to happen.  Then we all jumped again about 5 minutes later!  My son went to see the film the next day and he said everyone did the same then as well.


It starts off looking like it was going to be the usual 'stalker turns bad' type film, but then the twist gradually reveals that all may not be as first seen.  Without giving anything away, it is a very cleverly put together film, I am normally one guessing all the way through what is going to happen, but I never predicted the way the main story turned out.


I would definitely recommend going to see this film.

Tastemaker

Excellent thriller that starts out as a standard genre film, then the rug gets slowly pulled away leaving the film in a more complex and disturbing place.

The script is a little unsubtle at times but on the whole this is supremely effective; definitely looking forward to Edgerton's next.


Worth seeing. Although I guessed the ending a mile off it nevertheless remained super psychologically tense throughout and never boring. An extra half star for the cute dog.