Written and directed by Joel Edgerton, The Gift follows the story of Robyn (Rebecca Hall) and her husband Simon (Jason Bateman). Happily married and hopeful for kids, the two move back to Simon's childhood town to get a fresh start in life. With a wonderful new house purchased, the two couldn't be happier. That's when they run into Gordo (Joel Edgerton), a high school buddy of Simon's who persistent on starting their friendship back up. However, things take a strange turn when Gordo starts being overly kind and just a little outside the norm. Providing them with plenty of gifts and visiting nearly every day, he seems friendly, but it's a one sided friendship. Simon and Robyn uncomfortable with his constant presence, they try to take things back a notch, but he's just getting started.
It does have its clichés here and there, but they're put in their, mostly, to mislead you, as an audience member. They're there to make you feel like you know where this plot is going, and then Edgerton completely pulls the rug out from under you and it's absolutely shocking. His screenplay is so rich and vibrant, getting you invested in these characters and then slowly pulling all of them towards the darkness, away from your safe nurturing. I could do nothing except watch as these characters I cared about were plunged into a state of no return.
As the story continued to unfold, I was constantly left hanging on a lose thread. When the ending comes around, that thread is cut, and I was left plummeting into a state where my mind physically exploded. It's an ending that left me emotionally distraught and psychologically manipulated. In a similar way to the ending of last year's Gone Girl, this ending will make or break the movie for people. For me, it most certainly made it. The problems people have with it are just ludicrous, for there's so much more to it than the haters bring up. It's an ending you certainly won't see coming.
To sum up, The Gift, surprisingly enough, is the must see movie this August. It's a psychologically traumatising movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat long after the credits role. The leads are sensational and Edgerton's directing is priceless, and the ending had me shaking.