If there was a sexual orientation tick box on forms for CREEPY OLD DUDES I’d be crossing the shit out of that box. So it’s no surprise that The Gift, Joel Edgerton’s horror slash thriller (and not the ‘Katie Holmes takes her top off in order to shed Joey Potter’ film of the same name), was a bit of a treat. The trailer makes it look proper shit, but pay no heed, because it’s a slow-burning gem of Hitchcock proportions.
Having a penchant for CREEPY OLD DUDES (caps just seems approps) means that my allegiances are compromised. Without ruining what is easily one of the most interesting horror films of 2015 so far, The Gift makes it pretty hard to side with anyone. All the characters have their problems, and where typical horror fare might sway us towards supporting the family unit as opposed to the outsider, The Gift confuses us so we’re never quite sure who’s the villain, who’s the hero, or if there even is one. Maybe, as the film suggests continually, we’re all fucked up by our experiences and getting by the only way that’s worked for us thus far.
But that penchant, y’know, the one for CREEPY OLD DUDES, means that pretty much instantly I was on Gordo’s side. I mean, this Heisenberg-looking motherfucker is cute from the off, even if he is a little stalky, peering through many a glass window or leaving a plethora of gifts outside people’s front doors. He’s endearing as fuck, which is no easy feat to portray; Joel Edgerton is basics just winning at life right now. And there are several hints that Rebecca Hall’s Robyn is a little attracted or, at least, feels a kinship with him. Where her husband cotton-wool-suffocates her, Gordo listens and sets up her new TV, and when isn’t that act a heart winner?
Gordo’s unassuming look, which is only amped up later in the film when he’s hosting a pub quiz and wears a hat and bizarre nylon tuxedo number, which is total grunge, melts hearts. Gordo doesn’t look like he could hurt anyone, and it’s this total lack of threat that draws us in. He’s creative and can play the long game. He’s great with a camcorder too.
And there’s a part of me, even now, that wishes Gordo well, hopes he’ll be back for a sequel, that regardless of what happened in The Gift (see how careful I am not to spoil anything?!), The Gift 2 will amp up the revenge in some unexpected way. I wish they’d stuck with the film’s original title, Weirdo, and not chicken shitted out. Maybes the next one could be called Bride of Gordo, follow that age old tradition of giving psychopathic CREEPY OLD DUDES a love interest, because who doesn’t deserve affection?
Spank bank aside, The Gift was great. Ignore the trailer. The pay-off’s worth it. And Gordo’s every bit the beautiful, strange, weird, stalker, creepo you’d expect him to be. What more could you actually want?