REVIEW (The Gift)

The Gift

A chilling and scary film about a stalker who just won't leave a couple alone

A friend from the past becomes a bit of a nuisance in the new horror film 'The Gift.'

It's gifts that one couple don't want, or need. Young married couple Simon (Jason Bateman), a sales executive at a computer security firm, and his interior designer wife Robyn (Rebecca Hall), have just relocated from Chicago back to Simon's hometown of Los Angeles for his new job. They have moved into a beautiful home, with floor to ceiling glass windows that look out onto the front yard. It’s a dream home any couple would want. One day while out shopping, a man starts looking at and following them. It turns out that this man, Gordon (Joel Edgerton), was an old school friend of Simon's. They exchange numbers and agree to meet up. A dinner is arranged, but it turns out to be awkward as Simon doesn’t really remember Gordon from his school days, but Gordon seems to think him and Simon were friends back then. After the initial dinner, Simon and Robyn start finding gifts on their doorstep. First it’s a bottle of wine, and then it’s a school of goldfish in a newly-made pond that Gordon has created in their front yard. Then soon enough Gordon starts showing up at their house unannounced. But it becomes a bit too much for the couple, and they decide to invite themselves over for dinner at Gordon's house to check him out. What they discover, or at least what it appears to be, is that Gordon is a successful businessman with a huge house whose wife has just left him which may or may not explain his odd behaviour. But Simon is still a little bit suspect about him, and he remembers that back in school Gordon was known as 'Gordo the Weirdo,' and in his mind nothing much has changed about him. As Gordon continues to stalk the couple, even after they call the police on him, it's a matter of time before they start fighting for their survival, not just from Gordon but survival for their marriage as well, especially when Robyn learns the truth of what happened between Simon and Gordon all those years ago.

Edgerton (Black Mass) has given himself a plum role (he wrote and directed the film as well) as a man with a fatal attraction for the couple. It's a creepy role, and Edgerton really ramps it up when he needs to. And Bateman and Hall are perfect in their roles as a fresh and doe-eyed couple who are trying to start a family and settle into their new lives. While the film doesn't quite maintain the thrill and mystery that it starts out with, culminating in a silly finale, it's a chilly and scary story that's one hell of a ride.

'The Gift' is now out on Digital HD and Blu-ray and DVD