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A husband and wife try to reinvigorate their relationship but their lives are threatened by a "friend" from the husband's past who holds a horrifying secret about him, sending their world into a tailspin.

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The Gift movie full length review - Joel Edgerton's The Gift

Joel Edgerton's The Gift (which he wrote, directed and co stars in) was certainly a film that took me by surprise. I had seen no trailers of the film and really knew nothing about it when going into the theatre.

It was one of those films that comes along every once in awhile, where there is not a lot of media coverage, or promotion of said film and yet the critics are really liking it and once you go to see it, at the end you are just in shock in awe of what you had just seen, but at the same time, you liked every single minute of this film and it was a master class in every meaning of the word in terms of how thrillers should be done. I have since I was a teenager been a fan of thrillers/horror films and I watched several during that adolescent portion of my life and also got together a good size collection of films and memorabilia related to the genre. Over the years I found though, that the films from years ago from this genre, that they still appealed to me greatly and I still had a strong fondness for them, but the newer films coming out were just almost pathetic and certainly nothing to write home about. It seems all the really good films from years ago were now being remade into terrible remakes and once one idea was done then it would be recycled countless times and you would continue to get multiple remakes of the really good films and also an endless slew of unnecessary sequels to them. Trends have come and gone in this particular genre. I liked the slasher films of the 80's and 90's, but once we got to the last 15 years, or so, people started getting more lazy and what was considered "hip", or "in" at the time was just not something I was buying. I did not care for that whole "torture" series of horror films that after each film, one after the other they tried to out do one another with how vicious, nasty and gruesome they could be. Totally unappealing and worthless. I also never got into the Japanese horror films (with the exception of Takashi Miike's Audition). People screaming loudly into the camera and a lot of loud noises and bombastic musical scores did nothing for me either. The found footage genre had some interesting ideas (e.g. Cannibal Holocaust, The Blair Witch Project), but after awhile, everyone was using that technique and after awhile it wasn't new, fresh, or original anymore. I could go on, but won't due to limited space. What a breath of fresh air with Joel Edgerton's The Gift. Here is a thriller that knows how to do the film right and exceeds on all possible levels. The story at first glance may seem simple enough, but as the film goes on it becomes more and more involving and after a few twists and turns it really gets us on the edge of our seat and it was also one of those films that certainly stays with you lost after you have watched it and leaves both an impact on the viewer and leaves you thinking about it for a long time. This is also more of a thinking person's thriller as it really gets one pondering about human nature and how we treat each other as humans. I can not go into it any further as I don't want to spoil the film, but you really start to wonder who if anybody you are rooting through during this picture, which I think is the point and something to be applauded. There is not a single scene of graphic violence during the whole running time of the film and nor is it needed. The film is so involving and captivating and what it does not show us in terms of violence is all the more effective at creeping us out because it leaves more to the viewer's imagination and leaves us to guess and assume certain things which is even more powerful and at times scary than if they had gone the opposite route and been really violent, or gory. The film works as a good character study as we certainly get several good depictions of human nature and the effects we can have on one another. The film works as a human melodrama and we get caught up in the lives and actions of these characters and at times it almost plays out more like a drama film, but then we get back into the thriller mode of the film and it all comes together so brilliantly than the end result is fantastic. The direction and writing here from Edgerton is really impressive. He certainly knows how to concoct and craft an expertly done thriller and film and it is an extremely impressive directorial debut. The acting from Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Edgerton himself is also all top notch and serves the film well. This was more of a smaller low key type of film, but I am so glad that it got a mainstream release and that people are going out and seeing it. This is the type of film you want to tell people about and have them see because of how good it is. This is certainly the finest film I have seen this Summer and I know it will be on my year end top films list. Highly recommended.