When Jessica King goes missing, all eyes turn to Annabelle Wilson. Not as a murder suspect, but as a clairvoyant. Many of the towns folk go to Annabelle for help, and Jessica's fiancée, Wayne Collins, turns to Annabelle for possible guidance. Annabelle feels that she can't help, but this doesn't stop her from constantly getting visions of Jessica's fate. Written by
The cards Annie Wilson uses to perform her "readings" are actually Zener Cards, which are used to perform ESP tests. The cards are not known for their fortune-telling abilities, but this is not necessarily a mistake. Fortune tellers can use a variety of cards from tarot decks to ordinary poker cards to give readings. All that truly matters is that the four elements of nature (fire, water, earth, and air) are represented in some form. Annie would still be able to deliver readings with them as long as she knew which symbols represented which element. See more »
Wayne Collins' beer bottle moves between shots as he talks to Annie Wilson outside the country club. See more »
In The Gift, Cate Blanchett is blessed(or cursed?) with the ability to sense things that no ordinary person can see. She is asked by the police to aid in the search of a missing person and what follows, is a journey into the supernatural. Sam Raimi knows how to set up a scene for the maximum scare potential. Honed on his Evil Dead series, Raimi lets a scene begin slowly and allows the viewer to sense the dread and feel the suspense build. There are visual tricks, interesting camera techniques and the fine performances by a very talented cast that propel this story forward. Among this cast that really stands out is Keanu Reeves. People have always complained that Reeves brings down a movie. At least some of the people I know. I prefer to think that Reeves is an underrated actor. In the role of Donny Barksdale, Reeves brings a certain menace to his character that usually isn't scene in his other roles. Barksdale isn't a creature of the night, or a space alien, but a flesh and blood creature that is capable of true evil. When you watch him, look at his eyes and you'll see a true menace lurking behind those dark brown eyes. Cate Blanchett shows that she can master just about any accent that's out there. She sounds like she's a native of the south and she has a quiet courage about her. Most notable when she's squaring off against Reeves.
All in all, The Gift is a wonderfully atmospheric thriller. It has brains and doesn't insult the viewers. It will keep you hooked up until the very end, and there are quite a few surprises throughout the film. Highly entertaining, and very spooky at times.
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