I find that these days the term psychological thriller is a term loosely attached to movies that just don’t leave the desired effect. Then I watched The Gift and was pleasantly reminded just what a psychological thriller was supposed to be.
Starring Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Joel Edgerton, The Gift centers around Simon (Bateman) and his wife Robyn (Hall) that move back from Chicago to a place close to their old home town. They bump into an old acquaintance from Simons school days Gordo (Edgerton). The initial coming together of these three characters is very friendly and simple enough, although you can immediately start getting a sense that there is more to Gordo than meets the eye.
However Gordo starts to impose himself more and more with each passing day and this is something that Simon is not comfortable with, but Robyn being the gentle woman that she is happy to welcome Gordo into their home. That is until things get a little more intrusive and Gordon steps up the menace factor, which in turn forces Simon to push back and reveal more of his true self that Robyn never realized existed before. Edgerton is simply fantastic as Gordo and is both likeable and subtly menacing, playing his part with a fantastic naturalism and makes Gordo a scary and vulnerable character, effortlessly. Bateman known more for his comedic roles gives a solid performance in this movie and peel back a few layers to his character as the movie progresses leaving you questioning what you had imagined to be going on and then second guessing those same thoughts in the very next scene. Hall is really good in this movie as well and adds that depth of emotion that the movie needs to contrast the subtle performances from her male co-stars.
The pacing is not sluggish but there is enough time given for the story to develop and the intensity builds from chapter to chapter in this thrilling movie. Edgerton did a great job with this movie in my opinion, from writing, producing, and making his directorial debut, while also managing to put in a great performance, it’s all really well put together – and man, what a great twist thrown in at the end!
I would definitely recommend that you keep a look out for The Gift, which is available on DVD and Blu-Ray now.
Last Updated: June 2, 2016