THE GIFT (2015) Movie Review (A Surprise of a Good Thriller)

THE GIFT (2015) review

The Gift, stars Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall is a surprise of a great thriller. It is directed by Joel Edgerton. This movie is categorized and marketed as a mystery (stalker) thriller, and to be honest yes, it is. It's been in theaters since August 7th.

But about being a mystery-thriller...

The Gift takes your expectations of the mystery-thriller genre and keeps messing you up, turning your expectations of this genre upside down with surprises and non-non-surprises that keep happening.

I'll explain that in a bit.

The Gift opens with Simon and Robyn (Bateman, Hall) looking to buy a house in the Hollywood Hills. They're buying the house and moving to the L.A. area for his big time job.

While they were out shopping, if you're paying attention, you will notice a man in the fuzzy background watching them. After a few scenes he steps up and introduces himself to Simon. This is Gordo, played by director Joel Edgerton. (Pictured above)

It turns out that they went to school together way back in the day, or at least Gordo says so. He remembers Simon, but Simon sort of vaguely remembers him.

But as the first act comes to a close, and our hapless couple start getting gifts from Gordo showing up on their doorstep that borders on the oddly uncomfortable, things start to come to light about Gordo that piques all of our curiosities.

While we're learning about Gordo, we also start learning about the intricacies of Simon and Robyn's life back from where they came from.

The story goes from there with odd behavior from Gordo escalating and pushing the buttons in Simon and Robyn's life.


This is a classic stalker-thriller movie, or so you think, but what Edgerton has done is take your expectations of this genre and turned it on its head. Or maybe turns you on your head.

Bateman delivers in a way that I have never seen. This is no quirky funny guy that he plays, but a serious character who has an intense, focused man who does not dwell on his past but rather, focuses on his future.

There are so many moments that you think you know what is about to happen, and what you expect does not.  (That non-non-surprise reference) But when Edgerton does shock you, the entire movie theater audience jumps and screams.

That was pretty cool!


If you like stalker-thriller movies, I think you will LOVE this one. It's not your regular, run of the mill thriller, and the marketing is superb, keeping you just enough in the loop to not suspect what you're walking into.  I LOVE THAT, versus the comic book movies where Disney swarms the world with 100 different trailers, teasers, clips and B-rolls, and then spoils everything.

I have no qualms having spent the money I did for two tickets on this flick. As far as I'm concerned, this film gets an 8 on my dramatic scale.

The Gift delivers on all fronts and after about the half-way mark, keeps you pretty much on the edge of our emotional seat. As far as I'm concerned I recommend catching it if you can in the theaters, and if not, definitely rent it or catch it the first chance you get.

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