The Gift (2015) Movie Review
Title: The gift
Genre: Suspense/Thriller (Mystery)
Director: Joel Edgerton
Main Actors: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, and Joel Edgerton
Synopsis: 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.
I felt this was a really good movie, while when I first saw the trailer for this I thought this looked very stereotypical and cliché, the kind of movie where you go “yeah I’ve seen it before, it just had different actors in it” but I actually enjoyed it, and I’m glad I went and saw it when a friend of mine when we couldn’t make it to see Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation a movie that I’ve already seen once before (and was also very good but that’s for another review).
The movie was way better than I thought it would be, as with most suspense movies these days being just a bunch of loud noises and jump scares, and while there are a few jump scares in there, the movie wasn’t littered with them as I had expected. Instead it opted for making its audience feel uneasy, like you never know what’s going to happen next, which is what a good thriller should do. My friend who went and saw it with me had her hands up to her face for the majority of the movie as if she expected Joel Edgerton’s character Gordo to just start hack ‘n slashing these people, even though we knew walking in that this wasn’t a gory horror film.
This movie put Joel Edgerton on the map for me, while I had seen him before in other things, I honestly never remembered who he was, but he directed, produced, wrote, and acted in this movie, and he was just brilliant in all those aspects. The movie was extremely well directed and well written and Joel Edgerton’s performance acting was breathtaking. His character Gordo I first thought was just going to be another clichéd creepy guy that we’ve seen time and time again in movies, but not only was his performance chilling and unnerving, it was also sympathetic and even kind of likable at times.
The other two main leads in the movie were also great, especially Jason Bateman, as I had only ever seen him in comedies before seeing this movie, I honestly would’ve thought he was type-casted as only a comedic actor but I was wrong. He nailed this role and his chemistry with Rebecca Hall was also great.
The only downside I would say I have with this movie is that the pacing is a bit slow at the beginning. It takes about forty-five minutes before things start getting really interesting, and I can understand that can be hard for some people. Still the beginning does build up well to the climax of the film and does develop it's characters well. If you do decide to see it I fully recommend staying through to the end it is well worth it.
ALSO MINOR SPOILER ALERT! The dog does not die
Overall score: four and a half stars out of five
Returning to Role-Play! 2021
Good review I really enjoyed this film, too. I agree that it was refreshing to see it relied on suspense more than jump scares - especially as it's from the Blumhouse studio which tends to only do jump scare films. Joel Edgerton really surprised me as well, I hope he will continue to make interesting films such as these.
I thought it interesting how the film ended, I thought it really well done and more chilling than most horrors I've watched. I like films that blur the line of morality and makes you feel something towards the antagonist.
Love your spoiler alert - that was the most tense part of the film for me
Yeah I actually needed a little time to digest that ending and really think about it, as it does make you wonder "did he actually do it?"
Thanks, I did want to not include any big spoilers but I know there are some people who can't handle a dog dying, so I put it in tiny print at the bottom.