Monthly Archives: January 2010

63: The Gift (2000)

Ever since I saw Evil Dead II for the first time a few months ago, I’ve been excited to check out the rest of Sam Raimi’s weirdly varied catalogue (other than the Spiderman movies, which I’ve seen already).

So this little oddity was directed by Mr. Evil Dead and written by Billy Bob Thornton, whose mother it was apparently based on.  Cate Blanchett plays a clairvoyant single mother who lives in a small Southern town and who’s being harassed by the town roughneck, played by Keanu Reeves.  When a snotty young woman (played, appropriately, by Katie Holmes) goes missing, the police enlist Cate Blanchett’s help in finding her after exhausting their leads.

To me, this movie’s strengths were the casting and the direction.  Raimi brings the creepy, just like any fan of his horror movies would hope.  And this one’s chockablock with good actors cast perfectly (Giovanni Ribisi, Greg Kinnear, and Hillary Swank, to name a few).  The script isn’t terrible, but no one really gets any lines worthy of their acting chops (except maybe Keanu); and even allowing for the supernatural plot elements, there are several gaps in the film’s logic that another read-through could’ve fixed.  It’s still good, but with everything it had going for it, it should’ve been better.