A soldier introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence.
The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf.
Simon and Robyn are a young married couple whose life is going just as planned until a chance encounter with an acquaintance from Simon's high school sends their world into a harrowing tailspin. Simon doesn't recognize Gordo at first, but after a series of uninvited encounters and mysterious gifts prove troubling, a horrifying secret from the past is uncovered after more than 20 years. As Robyn learns the unsettling truth about what happened between Simon and Gordo, she starts to question: how well do we really know the people closest to us, and are past bygones ever really bygones? Written by
The question Gordie was asking at trivia had two parts. The first answer was the Beatles white album, and the follow up answer was the Helter Skelter murders referencing serial killer Charles Manson. In British English, a Helter-Skelter is a fairground slide that twists around the outside of a central tower. See more »
Robyn is holding a sponge with the coarse dark green side facing out, when the camera changes angle in the following shot the green side is reversed. See more »
It's all in the eyes, you see.
You see what happens when you poison other people's mind with ideas?
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Labelled a Psychological Thriller rather than a Horror, I was expecting an intelligently created, suspenseful story. Sadly, I was left slightly disappointed.
I find Psychological Thrillers more chilling as they are real. Ghosts and Monsters may offer jump scares and can make decent horror movies but they don't leave a lasting impression on me as they are so far from realism it takes away much of the fear. A psychological thriller, based around human emotions and characteristics can provide us with a much deeper fear, if done correctly. The Gift is a story of a newly married couple Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) who have moved into a new area, they have their dream, forever house and are very content with their lives. Out shopping for furniture one morning, they bump into one of Simon's old school friends, Gordo (Joel Edgerton). Gordo appears very strange, socially awkward and he certainly leaves an impression on Simon. Over the coming days, Gordo keeps turning up at the house uninvited and regularly leaves gifts on the couple's door steps.
Joel Edgerton as well as acting in this movie, also wrote and directed it. I will give him serious praise for his direction especially, as The Gift looked visually stunning. The house which was chose for the filming set was a perfect choice, floor to ceiling windows, in a secluded environment were wonderful for a stalker type movie. It really gave the impression that there was nowhere to hide and that he could be watching from anywhere, into any room. The choice of music which he uses to complement the film is another strong factor, he creates suspense well and the more disturbing scenes are edited perfectly. On direction and cinematography alone I was very impressed, sadly this wasn't enough as I felt the movie lacked elsewhere.
Jason Bateman, better known for his comedy roles, did a reasonably acceptable job in this movie, he wasn't anything to shout about but he did make the role his own quite well and was quite believable. Rebecca Hall didn't give an amazing performance in my opinion, she was quite underwhelming if I'm honest. She was supposed to be the person you were supposed to really like but as her character was so annoying and made ridiculous choices consistently, she really wasn't that relatable. However, it was refreshing however to see a 'strong wife' role as appose to the usual emotional wreck, screaming female role we are forced to watch in so many of these movies. Joel Edgerton gave a strong performance, easily the best of the lot. His character was uncomfortable and edgy without being over the top. He was subtle, which I found quite freaky as it was much more realistic. The supporting cast are few and far between and the little screen time they did get wasn't anything special.
The Gift is a slow burner, it progresses at a very leisurely pace, building suspense and mystery very well as the story unfolds. It is very much a thriller, not a horror, although there are a couple of cliché jump scares which were passable as they weren't overdone and did feel quite relevant to their situations. The Gift is a story of Winners and Losers, with strong emphasis on people's belief that the winners keep on winning while the losers deserve to keep on losing.
My main problem with The Gift is that the more the story unravels the less you seem to care about the characters, they all seem so hollow and I didn't find myself cheering any of them on. As things started to come together I was impressed with certain aspects of the movie but ultimately felt a little flat. I was expecting a lot from the film, it had a big hype with some very good reviews and it's a genre that I usually enjoy.
The overall end message is striking, with the climax of the movie coming together quite well. The story definitely goes full circle with an ending that should give great satisfaction to the viewer; sadly for me I found it to be a little underwhelming.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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