Writer-director Edgerton has crafted a nifty little suspenser here that is well worth your time. He's also given himself a plum role to boot and a role for Bateman that shows a steely demeanour to his more familiar nice guy persona.
The Gift shows what happens when two old schoolmates meet up again many years after their adolescent days. Bateman and his wife (a convincingly vulnerable Hall) relocate to LA for his new job, and bump into the socially awkward Edgerton, who subtly ingratiates himself into their lives. He tracks down their address and sends a present, followed by increasingly unwelcome and dangerous visits. But when an incident from their past comes to light it paints a somewhat different picture of these former school students.
Hall is excellent portraying the conflicting thoughts and emotions racing through her as she comes to realise that her husband might not be the sweet soul she had first thought, while Bateman registers the gritty selfishness of his manipulative character with aplomb. Edgerton is equally impressive in masking the troubles that have befallen his sad sack role.
The skill of this psychological thriller is in making your sympathies switch as the tale unfolds. Who's the real villain here? It takes a darker turn as it progresses and one is satisfyingly presented with a most cunning conundrum in trying to decide who is the worst culprit.
The measured pacing of this classy effort might be too slow for some, but in my opinion it builds up nerve wracking tension with sophisticated smoothness, a compelling old school drama that delivers the odd jolt with real intelligence. Highly recommended.
EXTRAS The featurette Karma For Bullies (1:54); the featurette The Darker Side of Jason Bateman (1:05); four Deleted Scenes (11:49); and an Alternate Ending (6:36).