Here’s another one of my true pleasures I saw last year. A film that kind of snuck out of nowhere and punched me in the gut. The Gift is one of those really smart films that takes you on a twisted journey right alongside the characters, and like them, you really don’t have any clue where it’s heading. There are so many twists and turns for both the characters AND the audience, that every second you’re just trying desperately to figure out what’s going to happen next. The fact that it usually surprises you is a real testament to this movie. The Gift (not to be confused by the Sam Raimi film of the same name from 2000) starts simple. A couple is innocently shopping in a store when a strange man named Gordo (love that name) approaches the husband and says he knew him from high school. After some coercing the man finally recognizes Gordo, who apparently has undergone some physical changes, they exchange pleasantries and leave. Well, little did the husband know that this chance meeting was going to disrupt his entire life as now Gordo becomes obsessed with the couple and simply will not leave them alone. This is when the “gifts” begin… To explain anything more from here will do the film a disservice, but just trust me on this one – it is a ride. The genius behind this is Joel Edgerton. He wrote, directed, and also stars as Gordo. This is his baby and holy hell I admire him for it. It’s so twisted yet so smart. There are some deep morality themes and mixed with some Hitchcock leanings that work so well for me. Plus, it’s fun to see Jason Bateman play against character. This is not Arrested Development’s Jason Bateman at all so be prepared. It’s just as much a mystery as it is a suspenseful thriller. There are definitely many clues placed in the film throughout so keep an eye out and you may put all the pieces together before the final reveal, but even if you do it doesn’t matter. It’s damn interesting getting there. This film deserves a ton of love because it’s intelligent, it gets you thinking, and most importantly it’s just a fun ride.