The Gift (2015)


Director: Joel Edgerton
Starring: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton, USA. 1h 48m

I regret not  watching this at the cinema as I was so convinced that it was going to be yet another jump scare horror that I respectfully sat it out, but now that I’ve found some time to watch it, I found it quite an intriguing directorial debut from Joel Edgerton, based on a screenplay that his initially titled Weirdo which drew inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock and it’s hard not to see a stark alliance with the Vengeance Trilogy.

The movie settles with a young couple who are settling into the their new home in the suburbs, Robyn (Hall) and Simon (Bateman) seem to have the perfect relationship, they are extremely successful and they are in synch and living life to the fullest, until the meet Gordo (Edgerton) who is an old school friend of Simon he leaves them a gift, a bottle of wine, the also leave them some fish for the pond. The guy is just sooooo nice but Simon’s attitude to Gordon becomes more and more hostile, he starts to reveal details about him being “that kid” at school, called Gordo the Weirdo but claims that he had no idea where the name came from, everything is vague and unimportant. Eventually ; after inviting himself into their home and noticing a note on the fridge naming him as a weirdo; Gordon invites the couple to dinner, with another couple at his house. After arriving at his lavish home he has to pop out for a quick work call, but eventually the charade is over and Gordon has some confessions, the house isn’t his, but belongs to his wife who has left him and taken the kids, his life is a mess and he was embarrassed to divulge this to his new friends.. they part ways and agree not to meet until he’s sorted out his life.. but this is only the beginning.

Days later the family dog is missing, the pond fish are dead and more truths are revealed about Gordo, not only from the local police but gradually Robyn starts to dig into the past and discovers a few home truths about her own husband and tragic events from the boys past which had caused a lot of bad blood, strangely it’s at this point in the movie where the tables turn and true colours are shown. Gordo manages to eek out little aspects of ?? persona which were cleverly hidden and both to his wife and the audience as everything is going through a 360, and then there is a huge revelation that tilters on the edge at the end of the film, yet another twist of the knife.

The power struggles in this movie affects everyone, and it shifts between characters in a vicious manner. The downtrodden Gordo is soon discovered to be a fraud but as the film digs deeper this character continues to evolve and change, and most of this is done off screen, the Gordo character slowly wedges himself between the couple without even being there, the guilt and curiosity that surrounds him is enough to work the young couple into a frenzy that they unravel themselves. The film is sly and at times it’s deeply disturbing,
As much as it’s unusual to see Rebecca Hall in modern clothing she was pivotal but quite bland and not consistent, the battle of the boys was quite explosive.
It’s smart and bold, an amazing debut for acting champ Eggerton.



R –  OldBoy (2003),
L – Revenge Films

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