The advertising of this movie has divided a lot of critics. And by a lot, I mean practically all of them. It's marketed as a cheap, typical Blumhouse horror; cheesy, low-budget, jump-scare-a-minute in it's TV spot, bus adverts, and two official trailers. This could not be further from the truth. On one hand, some critics see this as a ploy to rake in the cash: make a generic looking slasher and the crowds will flood in. Others see it as a plot to keep the true nature of the film hidden so that the audience are even more shocked. I don't know which to believe.
|Gordo the weirdo.....|
At a furniture store, Simon and Robyn encounter the odd 'Gordo'. He is polite and charming enough, but has an uncomfortable air. We can't place it though - maybe Robyn's reasoning that he's just 'socially challenged' is correct. Soon enough, Gordo is leaving a series of increasingly elaborate housewarming presents, inviting himself into the house, and eating dinner with the couple. Simon seems unhappy with this, but why? So far it's all pretty standard. I mean, the atmosphere is good , but it reeks of cheap horror/thrillers. It's like the trailers portray it. The story continues. As Gordo becomes more familiar with our main protagonists, he invites them round to his house for a bite to eat.
This is where the Gift plunges down one of the deepest and darkest holes in recent cinematic history.
|A suspect gift...|
Edgerton never utilizes a cheap jump-scare. Indeed there are only two 'scares'
in the film. The first comes after an incredibly long build up; it feels tense and inevitable, but ultimately, the big reveal is a surprise. The second is perhaps more shocking, but leaves less impact due to it's sudden and unexpected arrival. Apart from that, there is a myriad of long hall shots and darkened rooms to contend with. But Edgerton knows not to release his pressure, and to keep piling it along to the finish line. In doing so, he also honors horror cliches such as the shower, missing family animal, and many window shots. This is all underpinned by a stylish and minimalist aesthetic which is complemented by crazy-good lighting.
|Jason ain't too happy|
In the end, The Gift is all kinds of good: it's super-tense, ultra dark, uber cool, superbly acted, and above all, original. It's just a shame it lingers on the generic side for a bit too long...
|The Gift gets 4 stars!|