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A unsettling psychological sleeper hit still isn’t getting the adulation it deserves

A success by any measurable metric, so why is nobody still talking about it?

via Blumhouse

A hard-boiled psychological thriller that features a trio of recognizable stars in the lead roles, came backed by the might of horror hit factory Blumhouse, turned a hefty profit at the box office, and won rave reviews from both critics and audiences sounds like the sort of movie that would go down as a modern classic, so why hasn’t The Gift gotten the adulation it deserves?

Written and directed by Joel Edgerton, the story is as unnerving and uncomfortable as it is engaging and attention-grabbing, with the actor and filmmaker’s Gordo appearing out of nowhere to reconnect with old high school acquaintance Simon, as played by Jason Bateman. Worming his way into their idyllic life, it soon becomes clear that the outsider isn’t here to make friends.

Despite being a hit by every measurable metric, The Gift doesn’t get spoken about often enough when it comes to discussing, dissecting, and debating the finest bone-chilling stories to emerge from Hollywood in recent years, but at least that’s something a recent Reddit thread has been attempting to rectify.

via Blumhouse

A Certified Fresh Rotten Tomatoes score of 91 percent and a $60 million haul at the box office on a budget of just $5 million makes The Gift an unqualified success, but it ended up falling out of favor a lot sooner than it should. The narrative becomes increasingly tense and terrifying as it continues, proving that Bateman was a supremely underrated dramatic talent long before Ozark catapulted him into the conversation as one of the most underrated thespians in the industry.

Blumhouse dominates the horror discourse, but The Gift doesn’t get the praise it deserves for making the most of the minimal resources it was given.

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Scott Campbell

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