High-flying but unsettled couple Simon and Robyn (the convincingly slimy/angelic pairing of Bateman and Hall) encounter Gordo, Simon’s intense high school classmate. His gradual imposition on their lives generates suspicion and deceit, which eat away at their marriage.
The Gift is an odd beast: a third-rate idea transformed into a second-rate film, with lashings of Hitchcockian influence (think Rebecca) apparent. However it’s sadly derivative and a little mundane – and yet it remains oddly compelling throughout, despite a lackluster denouement. The jumps are where you expect them to be, but the film builds tension almost in spite of itself.
The Gift’s reveal isn’t worthy of the apprehension it creates, which is chiefly down to three classy performances. Thriller fans may be reasonably sated but The Gift lacks distinct juju.
CAST: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton
DIRECTOR: Joel Edgerton
WRITER: Joel Edgerton
SYNOPSIS: A successful couple’s relationship – and lives – splinter when an acquaintance from high school ingratiates himself with them through gifts, which begin to take on a more disturbing aspect as his true motive becomes clear.
A preview screening of The Gift was kindly provided by Lionsgate and Substance Global.