maandag 15 augustus 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 111: The Gift

Director: Joel Edgerton
Genre: Thriller
Runtime: 108 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton, Allison Tolman, Busy Philipps, David Denman

Description: A young married couple's (Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall) lives are thrown into a harrowing tailspin when an acquaintance (Joel Edgerton) from the husband's past brings mysterious gifts and a horrifying secret to light after more than 20 years.

Review: Simon and Robyn trade cold Chicago for sunny California, to build a new future and maybe even start a family. Simon isn’t the man to sit still and look back to at the past. His new job and their new house should only mean good things for them. Until they run into an old classmate of Simon. This Gordo has always been a bit weird, he leaves gifts for the couple and comes over unannounced. Quickly Gordo’s presence starts to affect Simon and Robyn’s life.
“The Gift” is a stalker film, a home invasion thriller and also a revenge film. A healthy relationship starts to show cracks after a man from the past comes into their lives. The film has an old fashioned thriller feel to it, like for instance “Fatal Attraction” did and it also has the suspenseful atmosphere that we know from Hitchcock movies. It’s clear that Joel Edgerton, who stars and directs, is a great Hitchcock fan.
The movie is never really surprising, up until the end. But there is always a threat, which makes it the thriller that it is. The glass house the couple lives in is used perfectly for this and the camerawork is also great. It all lifts the tension. Edgerton manages to create tension and build it, both physically and between the characters.
The characters are the strongest part of “The Gift”. Simon looks like a trustworthy man, but there is so much more to him. And it’s good to see Jason Bateman in something other than a comedy. Gordo is mysterious, he creates confusion, fear, awkwardness. Robyn looks like a strong, independent woman, but deep inside she is fragile and struggles with the past.
Joel Edgerton isn’t only a chameleon as an actor, but also did a great job as a director. “The Gift” is a true gift.

Rating: 4/ 5