the-gift-2015-posterThis film seemed to fly under the radar for me. But it really shouldn’t have. It is a very creepy and very well-done psychological thriller. Written and directed by and starring Australian actor Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom, The Great Gatsby), it is the story of a young couple, Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall), who move to Los Angeles, and run into a former schoolmate of Simon’s who knows him better than his wife. And who isn’t afraid to use that knowledge against him.

This is definitely one of those movies that the less you know, the better. There are twists and turns and you don’t really know what is going to happen. You will probably jump out of your seat a few times. The story starts simply with the couple buying household goods for their new house and Gordo just happening to run into them. Simon feigns being happy to see him, and the next thing you know Gordo is leaving them gifts on their front steps and insinuating himself into their lives. JasonBateman--BxAnd it is creepy, but Robyn who had a mental breakdown shortly before they relocated sees in him another broken person who just needs a connection. Simon on the other hand is trying his best to get Gordo out of their lives completely. He claims that Gordo was just the weirdo in high school and he didn’t really know him. But it turns out they have a significant history. And through this uncomfortable relationship Robyn realizes that she doesn’t really know the man she married.

I’d highly recommend this film to lovers of the psychological drama. The script is smart. The actors are all just spot on. Jason Bateman used to play such nice guys, but damn! is he a great jerk! And Rebecca Hall as the fragile wife realizing she has no idea who she married is a study in body language. Joel Edgerton’s awkward Gordo is about as creepy as they come, and that he also wrote and directed the film so well his first time out makes me hope he has a lot more up his sleeve. See it!

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