This gem of a movie has been so falsely advertised! Look at that poster. There’s some really creepy guy at your door with the most beautifully wrapped gift for you. It’s going to be a severed head, isn’t it? A bloodied knife? Am I going to die now? No, calm down. It’s not that kind of movie!
Married couple Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) have moved cities and are settling into their new home. Whilst out shopping, Simon bumps into someone he used to know in school, Gordo (Joel Edgerton), although he doesn’t recognise him at first. Gordo leaves a bottle of wine as a gift at their home the next day, which worries Simon and Robyn as neither remember giving Gordo their new address.
Eventually, Gordo starts to turn up uninvited at their home when he knows that Simon is at work during the day. Robyn feels sorry for him and lets him in to chat with him, although she’s never truly comfortable in her presence. The movie starts to take a turn when we see a meaner streak in Simon, telling Robyn that Gordo was given the nickname ‘Weirdo’ in school, and he even crosses out Gordo’s name on their noticeboard to replace it with the cruel nickname.
After a dinner party ends rather disastrously, Robyn hears a strange noise the next morning and finds the koi fish in their pond dead, and their dog, Mr Bojangles, missing. I don’t want to go into any more details in this review as I think it’s better to watch The Gift when you know very little about it, but that should at least be enough for you to know whether it’s worth your time or not.
What fascinated me about The Gift was the lack of definition between good and evil. How on earth can you work out who to root for when you don’t know who the bad guy is? More importantly, how do you interpret that open ending?
This has been the first serious role I’ve seen Jason Bateman play, and I was really impressed. I thought I could only enjoy him when he brings dry, sarcastic humour to the table but that was nowhere to be found, and instead he was quite terrifying.
If you’ve been thinking about watching The Gift, please give it a chance. It isn’t the horror it’s made out to be, although there was one moment that made me jump out of my seat to be honest. It actually gave me tingles down to my fingertips! But then, that time that the cat jumped out in Horrible Bosses made me to the same, so interpret that however you like!