The Gift is the promise of what Blumhouse can offer American cinema.
“The Gift” is domestic horror at its finest. What do I mean by domestic horror? Well, it exists as a subgenre in the age of paranoia and insular fear. Simon and Robyn are a married couple that move back to his hometown. That’s when Simon’s old classmate Gordo starts appearing with a series of gifts. Simon is creeped out, but Robyn feels bad for him. Things are going good until Gordo starts stepping over boundaries. Is this enough to fear or does the couple have to wait for more?
Joel Edgerton makes his directing debut with a taut thriller that preys upon insecurity. Whether it’s between a married couple or how an individual approaches the past, personal insecurity drives this film. Simon knows that Gordo represents something bad in his past, but he’s not sure what. Robyn feels bad for the guy, but she also is wary of a guy that seems willing to force himself upon her. While never directly violent, Gordo slinks along the periphery desperate to push Simon into a confrontation.
Ultimately, the film builds to a satisfying revenge pay off as the audience learns what Gordo wanted from Simon. The nature of the reveal matched with the personal nature of the story makes me incredibly eager to see what Joel Edgerton has to offer next. While he shouldn’t stop acting, Edgerton has found a welcome home behind the camera. Who’s the next character actor that’s going to surprise me?
RELEASE DATE: 8/7/2015