Directing debut for Aussie actor

WHAT A TWIST: Rebecca Hall, Jason Bateman and Joel Edgerton in new movie The Gift.
WHAT A TWIST: Rebecca Hall, Jason Bateman and Joel Edgerton in new movie The Gift. Supplied By Roadshow Films

SIMULTANEOUSLY revisiting and twisting up the suburban, stalker thrillers of the early 1990s, The Gift marks the debut in the director's chair for renowned Australian actor and screenwriter Joel Edgerton.

You're no doubt familiar with the set up: Simon and Robyn, an upper middle class couple, this time marvellously portrayed by Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall, move to a new city after experiencing a tragedy in the hopes of making a fresh start.

But the re-emergence of Gordo, an old high school acquaintance of Simon's (and played by writer/ director Edgerton) leads to a series of unwelcome encounters and unexpected gifts.

The mysterious presents leave the couple feeling unsafe in their own home as Robyn tries to figure out exactly what happened in the past between her husband and the mysterious Gordo.

Don't let the familiarity of the premise fool you, The Gift has plenty of surprises along the way.

Very much a performance driven film, each character has enough mystery and depth to never fall into the typical villain and victim roles you might expect.

Almost toying with our sympathies, The Gift constantly forces the audience to reassess who the "real" villain is.

While Edgerton's visual effort is far from perfect, his ability to manipulate the story, only releasing drops of information at a time, creates an environment of uncomfortable suspense that takes hold of the entire cinema.

A tightly told story and remarkable performances allow The Gift to bind its audience to the edge of their seats, paralysed in the suspense of this personal and well-executed thriller.

The Gift

  • Release date: August 27, 2015
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Running time: 108 mins
  • Director: Joel Edgerton
  • Stars: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton
  • Showing at:
  • Limelight, Riverlink
  • Birch Carroll and Coyle, Ipswich
  • Reading Cinemas, Redbank
  • Star rating: 4/5

Topics:  josh schultz movie review

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