The Gift

A chance encounter brings a man’s sordid past back to screaming life, threatening all he has built.

Sound familiar?

Of course, it’s a common theme in movies, and is the premise of “The Gift,” a new thriller that unfortunately does not, like its previous namesake, feature any Katie Holmes nudity (at least that we know of).

No, this “Gift” is one of the frightening kind, with a yuppie named Simon (Jason Bateman) and his blushing bride Robyn (Rebecca Hall) about to embark upon their own little charmed life together in a spectacular new secluded house, when they stumble upon Simon’s old high school classmate Gordo (Joel Edgerton).

After a brief flirtation with actual friendship, Simon learns that Gordo’s high school nickname “Gordo the Weirdo” is as accurate as it is awkwardly constructed, and soon Gordo is showing up at inopportune times, nuzzling up to the barrier between friendship and outright creepiness, leaving little presents and peeking into windows.

The inevitable ultimatum followed by descent into full madness follows. While this genre is nothing new, it can be rather effective when done right and with an appropriately menacing villain (the icy Ray Liotta in 1992’s “Unlawful Entry” will always be my archetype for that character). Edgerton on the surface doesn’t seem to have that type of presence, but that doesn’t mean “The Gift” won’t be worth seeing.

For now let’s call it a mild curiosity, one that, if you miss it in theaters, can pick up on your preferred home video platform. The Gift 5 The Gift 3 The Gift 4 The Gift image 1 Bateman

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