Recently, I’ve been on a bit of a horror movie stint. My girlfriend and I take regular trips to the movies and when we saw previews for The Gift, we were excited. It promised a creepy plot drenched in grudge and anger and did not disappoint.
The Gift is a well-thought out movie that was given lots of care. Simon (Jason Bateman) and his wife, Robyn (Rebecca Hall), move from Chicago to a new, very modern home in California where Simon is originally from. Out shopping one day, they encounter an old high school “friend” of Simon’s, Gordon (Joel Edgerton). After doing the normal, awkward chitchat, Gordon begins stopping by the house unannounced and does so much too often. Eventually, Simon is confronted with the fact he bullied Gordon in their younger years. Long story short, all hell breaks loose and the film ends with a twist ending that would leave the devil hoping for the lesser of the two evils.
If it’s one thing that truly blew me away, it was the wonderfully constructed dialogue. Definitely not something I expect to impress me when I watch a scary movie. Jason Bateman absolutely kills it with his lines and Rebecca Hall gives a great performance as well. Their arguments heat and erupt with natural pace. It felt so real. My girlfriend and I left analyzing the exchanges like we would after watching a couple fight on Dr. Phil.
The Gift relies heavily on this sort of tension building rather than on cheap pop-out scares to keep the audience interested. In fact, there might only be one jump-scare in the whole movie. As someone who’s been watching more scary movies lately, I appreciated this; it made it feel fresher. With that being said, I would advise potential viewers to know that The Gift isn’t going to have you covering your eyes. Except at the end, just out of sheer disgust and disbelief.
The ending left my girlfriend and me staring at each other in the darkness of the credits with our mouths wide open. It’s a twist ending that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Overall, The Gift pits two different types of crazy against each other: the psychopathy of Gordon and the unprovoked savagery of Simon. Though the plot makes sense, it seems convenient at times, but I never thought this until after watching the movie. The film’s dialogue really shines and the tension builds seamlessly and quickly. The Gift is an intelligent and creepy movie that is well worth seeing.