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The Gift: Review

The Gift: Review

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Rebecca Hall, Jason Bateman, Alison Tolmon, Wendell Pierce, Nash Edgerton (Rated M – 108 min).

Not to be confused with the year 2000 redneck drama ‘The Gift’ with Keanu Reeves and Cate Blanchett, the completely different secrets of this particular film sharing the same title should be kept to oneself so as not to ruin the constant eye-opening shocks, scares and twists within.

Australia’s own Joel Edgerton writes, directs and stars in this edge of your seat, smart suspense thriller that puts the audience off tilt from the outset and runs that way the entire time not relenting until the final credits.

Life seems to be going as planned for Simon (Jason Bateman) starting a new job and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) relocating from Chicago to a beautiful window walled house amongst Californian leafy surrounds. Randomly while out shopping one afternoon, a shocked Simon is approached by a stranger claiming to be a former school classmate Gordon (Joel Edgerton).

Simon eventually recalls who he is and what he was known as, Gordo the weirdo, a history of hidden secrets are also remembered. However, is this odd friend sinister or harmless?

A series of obscure gifts left at the door or in the fish pond of the couple’s house begins a chain reaction of uncomfortable situations, more so for Simon than Robyn as she believes he is just thoughtful and innocent.

Simmering along at a measured pace, the film keeps the viewer into a sense of dread not knowing what will happen next. Motive is hidden at first, unhinged mind games create obvious havoc and violence often protrudes into other emotions.

Better known for outrageous comedy, Jason Bateman plays a man with a possible horrifying past to unlikable perfection when reaching boiling point, while Joel himself teeters on what is normality to psycho while conveying possible sympathy. Fans of teen classic ’10 Things I Hate About You’ will instantly recognise Susan May Pratt in a cameo opening a ‘very important’ door.

Think early 1990s psychological thrillers such as Hand that Rocks the Cradle, this is a must see for moments of authentic mystery and possible controversial discussion when the lights come up.

Shane A. Bassett

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