Nerdlocker Movie Review: The Gift



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This week at the movie theater has been a rough one. First I saw this movie; it was not a gift. Then I saw FANT4STIC which I reviewed as well.

Written, directed and starring Joel Edgerton. In my opinion this is not a strong start for a directorial debut. But if you were to check out other reviews you would see quite a different take on this entirely. I hated it and it confuses me that others saw something in it other than mercy when it finally ended. It is tensionless and thrill-less in a movie that demands both to be even remotely decent not to mention memorable which it isn’t either. I can accept predictability when it doesn’t plague every second of every frame and The Gift is rife with predictability right up to the very (un)shocking ending. Every new scene was the same or extremely obvious without fail. Numerous times we are with the wife of the movie home alone who constantly thinks she heard a noise from somewhere in the house only to find no threat. It’s a falsity in every way. From the false jump scares to the false threats this is a bogus home invasion wannabe.

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I can appreciate a film that is slow but to be slow without payoff or a point I can’t get behind. Boring is boring and this story is a yawn-fest with a side of frequent eye rolling. Anything and everything in this has been done to death in countless other thrillers but in some of those they actually worked. The villain is not intimidating- at best he is a nuisance in the same way a neighborhood kid is a nuisance when he/she plays ding-dong-ditch with your doorbell; it’s irritating sure but scary? Sorry, no. And the sad attempt of trying to make the asshole husband just as guilty as the antagonist is pointless because he is in fact an asshole. But so is the presumed villain and the husband’s wife is an idiot (I say that politely). Basically everyone in this film is unlikable, irrelevant and hopeless in their attempt to get me to give a shit.

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No less than ten times did my friend and I (quietly, we’re not complete assholes) lean in toward one another and whisper what was going to happen next only to watch it unfold just as we predicted. It became uncanny after a while. We laughed when it was trying to be serious; we sat motionless and unaffected as it tried to make us nervous or uncomfortable. I don’t really know what else to say. Maybe I missed the point, it happens I guess. For me however The Gift is a box of shit that someone wrapped up with a nice bow and tried to hide the smell. Unfortunately I didn’t catch a whiff beforehand and foolishly I opened the box to a pie of excrement. And they didn’t even have the decency to put some whip cream on top.

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Rated R For: language
Run Time: 108 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Starring: Joel Edgerton, Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Allison Tolman
Directed By: Joel Edgerton

Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 1/ Acting: 3/ Directing: 3/ Visuals: 1
OVERALL: 1.5 Nerdskulls

Check out the trailer below:

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Chase Gifford

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world"-Jean-Luc Godard