Reel Talk

The Gift Weirded Me The Hell Out

The Gift Poster

I’m usually not very worried about spoilers on this site. The whole schtick of most of my articles is that I just ramble about the plot of something giving random thoughts and feelings along the way. I think spoilers are generally kind of a dumb concept. If you don’t want to know what happens in a story, don’t read stuff about it. Reviews and most articles about movies and other stories are usually made after the writer has seen the work, so it’s only natural to talk about it, twists and all.

That being said…I don’t really want to talk about this movie all that much. We live in a culture where you’re frequently bombarded with news about movies. From the moment they’re greenlit we have the ability to find out casting rumors, people speculating on what the plot is, and even people sneaking set photos during the filming for people to debate and fixate over. I’ve been trying to get away from that type of experience, which is pretty hard being a passionate geek on the internet, but there’s something really refreshing about coming into a movie with fresh eyes, not knowing much about it. But there are some movies that I’m not going to mind writing in depth plot descriptions about. We pretty much all knew what was going to happen in Ant-Man, I didn’t feel too bad about writing about it’s plot. But sometimes smaller films that weren’t on the homepage of pretty much every movie site can come out, and surprise you. I remember in 2011 my sister-in-law recommended my wife and I go see the then new Woody Allen movie, Midnight in Paris, and we did, knowing absolutely nothing about it. We knew Woody Allen directed it, and that apparently it was good. We didn’t know what the plot was, what the twist was, hell we didn’t even know who the cast was. And coming in completely blind was the best possible way to see it. And that’s kind of how I feel about The Gift.

Maybe in a couple of months, after the statute of limitations on spoilers kind of passes I’ll write a more in depth reaction to this movie, but for right now all I want to say is go see this movie. I enjoyed it a lot. There’s some problems, like an over-reliance on jump-scares, the peak-a-boo of thriller film making, but overall I found this to be a very fascinating and impacting movie. I saw this movie recommended on several movie sites, all with pretty much the same instruction, go in blind. There’s a lot of twists and turns, and it really works best when you know next to nothing about it. Just know that it’s a very tight thriller from first-time director Joel Edgerton, who did a great job. It’s beautifully shot, and has great performances from everyone involved, and man does it hit you in the gut. And it’s dark. Super dark. It’ll make you really think back and wonder if you’ve ever hurt someone in your past. But even that sentence may be saying too much. Go see this movie, it’s really creepy and effective.

The Gift Dinner

Side-note. As tense and disturbing as the movie was, I think the most shocking and frightening thing about this was the fact that I got a trailer for a new movie directed by M Night Shyamalan. The trailer wasn’t frightening though, not in the least, in fact my entire theater was laughing the entire time. The scary thing is they’re letting this man make more movies, and a found-footage “horror” movie about kids being attacked by evil grandparents at that. Yikes.

The Gift was written and directed by Joel Edgerton.

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