The Gift

Rated 2.0

Joel Edgerton stars in (and directs) this intermittently effective but ultimately revolting domestic-horror film as Gordon, a poorly goateed, socially awkward misfit who weasels his way back into the life of an uninterested high school classmate named Simon (Jason Bateman). Now a cutthroat yuppie squeezing the life out of his psychologically shaky wife Robyn (Rebecca Hall), Simon refuses the creepily obsequious attempts to make friends, turning the mild-mannered Gordon malevolent and making Robyn suspicious. Despite an overreliance on ear-splitting jump scares, Edgerton the director makes a competent debut here, but Edgerton the actor is all wrong for the part of Gordon—he's a cool kid doing his impression of a nerd. Even worse, the final reveal is pretty repellant for the way that it turns the heroine—up to this point, the eyes, ears and conscience of the film—into a pawn for the sake of a gotcha moment. D.B.