Joel Edgerton’s remarkable debut ‘The Gift’ has an unnerving eeriness to it, that is unlike so many other films that fall into the genre. As Simon Callem (Jason Bateman) and his wife Robyn (Rebecca Hall) move in to their new house in a suburb in Chicago, they run into Simon’s old classmate from school, Gordon Mosely (Joel Edgerton). Gordon strikes the couple as an odd bag, and soon start stalking them, and that too, Robyn realizes, for a reason.
There are films that put me totally at unease, on account of their edginess, and ‘The Gift’ belongs to the category. Edgertons skillfully maneuvers his film around so many dark corners, that the cloudiness that lies beyond is uniquely terrifying.
The three lead performers are equally good, and Edgerton leads the pack, with the least number of scenes among the three, and yet, beguiling us with those large innocent eyes and the quirky smile that just about plays around his mumbling lips. Hall is certainly not one to be left behind, and wins the game hands down in several scenes that require her to be all alone in a creepy, large house. And just when you thought Bateman has probably had a slightly rough deal in the script, along comes a terrific feat from the actor in the climax, that settles the score once and for all.
There are at least a couple of ‘jump-out-of-the-seat’ moments in ‘The Gift’ that are appositely placed. It does not fall into the ditches that thrillers so easily find themselves in, and offers a gripping watch.
Verdict: Taut Thriller