Limited release of ‘The Gift’ falls flat

Photo courtesy of Lead actor Jason Bateman stars alongside Rebecca Hall and director Joel Edgerton in new thriller.

Joel Edgerton’s directional film makes up in acting what the plot failed to deliver

Story by Adam WinnStaff writer

Photo courtesy of Lead actor Jason Bateman stars alongside Rebecca Hall and director Joel Edgerton in new thriller.

Photo courtesy of
Lead actor Jason Bateman stars alongside Rebecca Hall and director Joel Edgerton in new thriller.

While I was out of town this past Labor Day weekend, I watched a recently released movie called “The Gift.” After viewing the film, I checked to see if it was available to watch in the Cheri Theatre located here in Murray and, unfortunately, it was not.

The movie only has a limited release. So in order to watch the film you would have to go to travel outside of town. Is this movie worth the extra drive to watch? My short answer is no.

The plot of the movie is centered on a married couple who just recently moved into a new house located near the husband’s hometown. While out shopping one day for new furniture, the couple run into one of the husband’s old classmates.

After the encounter, the former classmate starts leaving gifts and consistently stopping by the couple’s new house. At first what seems to be nice gestures toward the couple, quickly begins to turn into an intense form of stalking, but this film is one of those movies where you can tell not everything is how it seems and the movie starts throwing some twists at you that you probably wouldn’t expect coming.

The film stars Jason Bateman of “Horrible Bosses,” Rebecca Hall of “The Town,” and Joel Edgerton of, “The Great Gatsby.” The acting in this film is definitely its best quality. The actors make you sympathize with their characters and others make you feel uncomfortable and creeped out.

While all of the acting was pretty solid, it was Jason Bateman’s performance that was the most exceptional. Normally Bateman sticks with the comedy genre, but without spoiling anything from the movie, he did an amazing job with this role. It’s nice to see actors perform outside of their normal element and still do a good job.

If you really want to watch the movie, his performance is a good reason to give it a shot.

Now this film has a pretty good idea behind it, but for me personally, what went wrong with the movie was the fact that it was too lengthy and boring.

The audience is constantly left wondering when the plot was going to pick up and each time the plot did pick up and appears to be taking off, it immediately dropped the ball again.

Certain scenes were drawn out way too long and could have been trimmed down and other scenes did not even seem necessary to the plot and felt more like pointless time filler.

The ending was also a bit anti-climactic. The final scenes were vaguely left open for the viewer to interpret what they think happens next. It’s unclear if the writers did that on purpose or if they just didn’t know how they wanted to end the movie.

Another significant thing to point out is that the movie trailer for this film is entirely misleading. The trailer plays this film up to be a scary, thriller style film, whereas it’s really more of a drama with some suspense added to it. This technique was probably done to draw a larger viewership to the movie, but was overall a needless marketing stunt.

The film’s current rating on the IMDB website is 7.6 out of 10. That score is exceptionally high for this film. Maybe other people who saw the film walked away from it feeling something I didn’t. Or maybe it’s just my personal preference when it comes to films.

This movie is  overall an ordinary drama film that has some decent plot points and some good acting, but the plot tries to make you think it’s deeper than it really is.

If you still seem intrigued by the movie and are willing to drive to either Paducah or to another location, give it a shot, but my current suggestion is just wait to rent it later.