Actor and Writer Joel Edgerton has jumped into the director's chair with his feature film debut, The Gift. The suspense thriller hits all the right notes and taps into Polanski, Hitchcock, and even a bit of Kubrick. Click through for my full review and to hear from Joel Edgerton himself.
Joel Edgerton's casting choices are hugely pivotal in why this film works so well. Jason Bateman is so enjoyable as our lovable husband, but his character's arc is so shocking and wonderful to see unfold. The battle between Joel and Jason is purely riveting. But Rebecca Hall is easily the bright beacon of the film. Our sympathy and compassion are with her character and it's her believability that helps make the fear in The Gift so real. You immediately side with her on so many levels and that showcases the crisp script by Joel. His pacing his choices in when and how to scare or thrill us is so well thought out. This isn't a scream all the time type of scary movie. It has it's holy s jump out of your seat moments but the anticipation is spot on. The fact that Jason Blum has put his production company behind this film showcases a new way to scare and thrill you without all the gore and horror elements. This is closer to Whiplash then The Purge and highlights the great eye that Blum has for creepy suspense. This story seems so believable and real. I think this trailer for the film really harps at the reality behind Joel's unique story.
The cinematography by Edu Grau is pivotal in tying this STX Entertainment release to classics like Rosemary's Baby, Rear Window, or even The Shining. The home is a character in itself. It's curves it's windows it's natural lightening and it's overall sound are as much an important facet to the fear as Joel's presence. Edu captures such amazing angles and shot choices that not only highlight the vulnerability of Rebecca's character but also the power behind Joel's Gordo. Perspective is a wonderful element that The Gift really highlights. Seen from another POV and the scene may not carry the weight of that moment. Overall this is one of the better shot films of the year and helps showcase so much of Joel's creepy script ideas.
But enough of me. I'll let Joel Edgerton help explain his film a bit better. In the roundtable interview he had with us in Dallas he talked about many things. I've highlighted his choice to jump into the Director's chair and my question revolved around the tremendous cast including Dallasite Allison Tolman.
So far the scariest film of 2015 is this intelligent and unique look at what the impact of bullying can have on people. This film is much more of a thoughtful suspense thriller and that is why it's so damn horrifying. Trust me you won't believe where the film goes and what the ultimate final gift really is!
The Gift is out now in theaters and you can find out more info, here.