By Sean Gardner
The Gift is written, directed, and stars Joel Edgerton. It is his directorial debut and it is produced by Jason Blum who has made a name for himself with these types of low budget thrillers like Paranormal Activity, The Purge, and Sinister. The film also stars Jason Bateman in a departure from his more lighthearted projects for a darker, more dramatic role.
Simon (Bateman) and Gordon (Edgerton), two acquaintances from high school, coincidentally cross paths after having not seen each other since graduation. Gordon was a little strange in school, and still is. The way Edgerton plays it makes us feel Gordon’s awkwardness. He is either starring at someone with a slightly opened mouth from a distance, or lingering well past his welcome at a dinner party. Along the way we find out why Gordon is the way he is and all I will say is that it involves Simon.
This type of low budget thriller with decently recognizable actors is perfect for Edgerton to cut his teeth on as a writer/director. It is suspenseful, it is creepy, and most of the credit should go to Edgerton. The story, while somewhat simple, is compelling. The twist ending is just insane. I did not see it coming and it is just off the charts weird. Edgerton gets effective performances out of Bateman and Rebecca Hall who plays Simon’s wife.
The Gift is currently RedBox and is definitely worth the $1.50 for a suspenseful date night or a rainy Saturday afternoon.