The trailers for The Gift did nothing for me. They’ve been playing before every horror film for the last few months, and this film just didn’t look like it had anything to offer. Now I know why I felt that way. This is not a horror film, even though the trailers have been edited to suggest otherwise. It is however, really quite good.
While not strictly speaking a horror film, it is meant to be scary in parts. Normally I find it hard to be scared of human characters in thrillers, but this managed to pull it off. Pretty much everything about The Gift is very well crafted, and I really need to mention the real star of this film, Joel Edgerton.
Most people know that Edgerton is playing one of the three main characters in this film, Gordon Mosley, but he also wrote and directed, and I’m not sure which of the three he did the best. His performance as the film’s creepy antagonist is excellent, as he plays a difficult character very realistically. His writing is well paced and clever, paying just the right amount of attention to details that need it, and making you try to guess what’s going to happen at every turn. All of this is combined with his direction, which builds tension throughout, and knows exactly when to drip feed you plot details.
The Gift doesn’t really have anything new to offer, but it doesn’t have to. It does psychological thriller better than most, and it’s a well crafted dark film made for adults. As I was leaving this film, somebody said to me ‘that’s the kind of film you want to stumble across late at night on TV’, and while that is true, do yourself a favour and catch it when you can.
One more thing, if there’s any chance you’re reading this but you haven’t seen the trailer, do not watch it, because it gives so much away that I wish I hadn’t known going in.
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