The Gift is the 2015 thriller in which the insults and hurts from childhood come back to sabotage the happy marriage of a successful couple. As William Faulkner once said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
Simon (Jason Bateman) and his wife Robyn (Rebecca Hall) have moved from Chicago to Simon’s home town in California, where Simon has taken a new high-powered job. By chance they run into Gordo (Joel Edgerton), an old school acquaintance of Simon’s. Gordo is thrilled to see them and begins showering them with housewarming gifts.
Gordo is obviously a lonely soul, and takes an immediate liking to the kind and gentle Robyn. He helps Robyn with the house, sets up the cable T.V. and continually stops by to lend a hand or just chat. At first it is nice, but after a while he begins to seem just a little too clingy and creepy.
Finally, Simon has had enough, and in a very cruel way tells Gordo he doesn’t want him around anymore. That’s when bad things start to happen to Simon and Robyn. Their dog disappears, the fish in their Coy pond all die, and strange noises are heard at night.`
At this point, it seems like the movie is just going to morph into a traditional horror movie, but then, exciting plot twists occur. Robyn had liked Gordo and thought that Simon was unnecessarily brutal in dumping Gordo as a friend. She begins doing some detective work to find out what was the real nature of the past relationship between Simon and Gordo, and why Simon was so eager to force Gordo out of their lives The more she digs the more bizarre and frighting the past becomes.
It is difficult to describe just how good The Gift is without giving too much away and ruining the ending. When you see it, you will be glad we did not spoil anything.
We will simply say that The Gift is a a great mystery movie (NOT a horror movie), that has a completely unexpected double twist ending. The acting is fantastic. Rebecca Hall is perfect as the kind but fragile Robyn who begins to worry about the moral cost of success. Jason Bateman’s acting is superb as her controlling husband.
Joel Edgerton is the complex Gordo who keeps us guessing as to whether or not he is a misunderstood nice guy or a psychopath. Joel Edgerton was also the writer, director and co-producer of The Gift. His talents are exceptional in all three fields.
- We give The Gift our highest rating of Five Stars *****
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