The Gift (2015)

gift poster 2015 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Solid thriller with flawed characters

Some Fatal Attraction cliches

Movie Info

Movie Name:   The Gift

Studio:   Blumhouse Productions

Genre(s):   Horror/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):   July 30, 2015 (Premiere)/August 7, 2015 (US)

MPAA Rating:   R

the gift gordo window cleaner joel edgerton rebecca hall

Stalking always begins with glass cleaner!!!

Simon and Robyn Callem (Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall) have returned to Simon’s home town outside of Los Angeles to start a new life and hopefully a new family. As Simon seeks to establish his new job, both Simon and Robyn discover that an old “friend” of Simon from high school has also returned into Simon’s life. Gordon “Gordo” Moseley (Joel Edgerton) has a chance encounter with Simon and Robyn and now Simon and Robyn discover getting rid of Gordo might be harder than they expected…and Gordo might have his own plans.

Written and directed by Joel Edgerton, The Gift is a horror mystery thriller. The low-budget movie was released to critical acclaim and a strong return.

I heard some good buzz about The Gift when it was released which was surprising because you didn’t expect a thriller starring Jason Bateman would be something that would work…but it surprisingly does!

gift simon robyn jason bateman rebecca hall

What do I always say is the most important thing…Family…or breakfast

The movie creates a bunch of flawed characters and has them crashing into each other in a Fatal Attraction plot. The movie doesn’t allow you to really side with any of the characters because they are all broken and in that sense real. Gordo (called Weirdo in high school) has a trouble passed and is living a revenge fantasy that bullied people often dream about. Robyn is a recovering substance abuser who steals from her new friends. Simon is a bully who has gotten ahead over the years because of it.

Each actor does a great job developing these characters. Rebecca Hall is the obvious most likeable, but she’s caught in the middle of Gordo and Simon’s game. Joel Edgerton makes Gordo creepy enough that you can’t accept what he does, but not creepy enough that you hate him. Jason Bateman who always plays the kind of sarcastic and smarmy (but likeable) character actually is smarmy and evil here (along the lines of his Juno character)…but does the punishment fit the crime? It is a good question (no in the sense that Hall is just a toy to Gordo who took his hatred of Bateman toward her).

the gift gordo monkey mask jason bateman ending

Gordo says hello!

The movie is slick and does have some classic jumps. It would be the one fault of the movie in that there are some cliché stalker movie moments and some easy jumps that feel a bit below the smart script. For a first film, Edgerton does a great job telling a nice hair-raising tale.

The Gift had a decent reception, but it still was criminally underseen. I hope that over the years the movie might garner a bit more traction and become one of those cult classics. It isn’t a perfect movie, but it is good enough that it is pleasantly surprising. Just like Gordo wanted it, the movie ends viewers questioning did he or didn’t he? It is a satisfying question.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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