What it lacks in Katie Holmes’ breasts, The Gift makes up for in tense thrills…
The Gift contains a typically fine performance from Rebecca Hall but it is the cat and mouse game between Jason Bateman and Joel Edgerton that rightly takes first billing. Edgerton wrote and directed The Gift as well as starring and he gives an excellent performance in what is obviously a passion project for him. If you watch Edgerton’s confident turn in another 2015 success Black Mass compared to his more socially awkward character here, you will see the amount of range that he possesses and the flexibility of his acting skill.
The stalker tale is a typical horror trope but The Gift isn’t out to break new ground, only to tell a good story and tell it well. The performances in general are far superior to that of the average horror flick, with Fargo‘s Allison Tolman rounding off a talented cast.
The Gift is not really a horror film in reality. It is more a tense thriller and whilst Jason Bateman is an odd choice for such a straight character, he takes his opportunity to play against type here. Bateman made me change my mind about who was the protagonist and who was the antagonist numerous times throughout The Gift which is also a testament to Edgerton’s writing.
Indeed this is Joel Edgerton’s movie. Aside from the gripping script and the focused direction, Egerton puts in a sympathetic but offbeat turn as Gordo in a role unrecognisable compared to his recent fare.
The Gift is in many ways old fashioned in it’s story and style but it is a modern twist on a familiar fable that will appeal to a mass audience. Caps off Joel Edgerton.