Saturday, August 8, 2015

MOVIE REVIEW: "The Gift" (2015)

The Gift
(STX Entertainment - 2015)

It's being called, "the
summer's best surprise"
and "the best psychological
thriller in years." Simply
put, believe the hype.

Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) are an attractive young married couple. Yet despite Robyn's seemingly troubled past, back in Chicago, their future now appears bright, as Simon's super-successful corporate gig has provided them a fresh start on the West Coast. But as they begin settling into their exquisite new home in the hills of California, Simon's former high school classmate, Gordon Mosley (Joel Edgerton) re-enters his life — causing considerable disruption. It soon becomes crystal clear why Simon recalls Mosley as being known as "Gordo the Weirdo" all those years ago. The "old friend" quickly turns Simon and Robyn's world upside down, in true stalker fashion — making numerous unannounced (and unwelcome) visits to the couple's new home and offering a slew of random "gifts." But at least the audience has comfort in knowing from the beginning exactly who the bad guy is and that they'll all live happily ever after. Uh, don't be so sure.

Bateman and Hall as the seemingly
happy couple, Simon and Robyn.
Joel Edgerton as Gordon Mosley
Written, produced and directed by Edgerton, this late-summer sensation boasts zero nudity, only implied sexuality and minimal adult language. SAY WHAT? So, how on earth can a film possibly deliver the goods in today's super-savvy show biz world without salacious smoke and mirrors? It's simple. The Gift is incredibly well-written, well directed and well-cast. Packed with so many tension-filled twists and turns that it nearly melted my iPhone GPS, The Gift kept me riveted — literally on the edge of my seat — from the initial creepy encounter 'til the closing credits.


-Christopher Long
(August 2015)

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