In the past few years, Blumhouse Productions has delivered one horror/thriller commercial success after another. From breakout hit Paranormal Activity to more recent franchises like Insidious and The Purge, producer Jason Blum’s production house has largely been built on scares (with last year’s critical darling Whiplash a notable exception). That trend continues in the next Blumhouse production hitting theaters, The Gift.
The film stars Jason Bateman (Arrested Development) and Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3) as the happily married Simon and Robyn, whose lives are unexpectedly turned upside down when Simon’s old classmate (Joel Edgerton) arrives on the scene. He at first attempts to befriend the couple, before he instead threatens to reveal a long-held secret once the pair attempt to cut ties with him.
Lionsgate has just released a trailer for The Gift intended for UK audiences (watch it above). The footage hews close to what has been released domestically, but also continues to build suspense surrounding the film’s central mystery. The Gift marks the feature writing/directing debut for Edgerton (The Great Gatsby) and looks like it may offer a compelling entry into the subset of films dealing with unhealthy obsessions (a theme already recently explored in Blumhouse’s own The Boy Next Door).
Judging by the new trailer, Edgerton looks like he may deliver a chilling performance in the film as the far-too-attached Gordon. Moreover, The Gift also marks a rare foray into straight-up drama for Bateman, who is far better known for injecting a bit of levity into his movie and television work. The actor here may be able to tap into his dark side a bit, depending on the true nature of the secret his character shares with Edgerton’s.
All in all, The Gift continues to show promise as a solid thriller, provided its central mystery offers a satisfying payoff. Hall has been either underused (Iron Man 3) or saddled with subpar material (Transcendence) in recent years, but the film’s three leads have proven their talent again and again, only reaffirming The Gift‘s potential.
The Gift arrives in U.S. theaters on August 7th, 2015.