Team shortlist03 Aug 2015 AT 11:58 AM

TRAILER: The Gift

Jason Bateman stars as the husband this familiar tale of terror
Team shortlist03 Aug 2015 AT 11:58 AM

It's a well-worn device for psychological dramas: a normal family succumbs to the obsessional insanity of someone they befriend. Single White Female, Pacific Heights, Notes on a Scandal and, most disturbingly perhaps, the holiday-from-hell that was Funny Games all created terrifying plots from the most benign, and most believable, of scenarios.

Taking a break from his usual role as an uptight white guy in suburban comedies, Jason Bateman stars as the husband in a blissful marriage, whose domestic idyll is brutally interrupted by the appearance of an old high-school buddy. Gordo, played by Joel Edgerton, who both wrote a directed the movie, surprises his old chum and wife (Rebecca Hall) with a series of gifts that reveal a terrible secret about their shared past. Put it this way, it's the kind of thing you'd really want to keep from your wife. And friends. And colleagues... 

As with all these films, there is a creeping discomfort that comes with watching bad things happen to normal people, especially when you know they're coming, but Edgerton manages to steer clear of too many tropes in what is a sure-footed debut behind the lens. What is it with Aussies in Hollywood just now.... they're everywhere.

The Gift opens in cinemas this weekend in the UAE. Check here for timings.

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