Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Cate Blanchett Murder Mystery Flop Getting A Second Chance On Hulu

There's no way around it: 2000's The Gift is, on paper, a bad, Hollywood-themed round of Mad Libs. Written by Billy Bob Thorton and based on real-life stories about his mother's purported psychic powers, The Gift is directed by Sam Raimi and stars the actors who played Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings and Neo in The Matrix. It would be difficult to stress enough just how true everything in the previous sentence is.

A little over 20 years, this bizarre celluloid creature skittered into theaters like an unknowable cryptid, too weird to be welcomed into a loving home and too unique to be completely ignored. The Gift tells the story of Annie Wilson, played by Cate Blanchett, a fortune-telling widow with the sorts of astonishing psychic abilities that were in high cinematic demand in the years following The Sixth Sense. A mysterious disappearance in Wilson's quiet home town leads to a vision revealing that the missing woman, Jessica King (Katie Holmes), has been murdered — her body dropped in a pond like so many Springfield garbage bags. All signs point to the involvement of one Donnie Barksdale (Keaunu Reeves), a local abusive lout who, flying in the face of Bram Stoker's Dracula, maintains a relatively consistent accent from beginning to end.

More than two decades later, The Gift is getting a second chance at a good first impression, as it recently joined the ranks of Hulu's horror section.

Hulu is re-Gifting audiences this Cate Blanchett vehicle

If The Gift sounds to you like ten pounds of weird in a five-pound sack, you're not alone. The movie hit wide release with a mild thud in December 2000, opening in 13th place at the box office and going on to gross just over $12 million domestically and $32.5 million internationally, according to Box Office Mojo. While it had only a $10 million budget in the first place and performed markedly better overseas, The Gift never made the same cult impression as other Sam Raimi films did.

Meanwhile, reviews for the film were tepid at the time. The Gift amassed a uniformly middle-of-the-road reaction on Rotten Tomatoes, with both critical and audience approval rates in the mid-50-percent range. In a three-star review, Roger Ebert wrote that The Gift "could have been a bad movie, and yet it is a good one because it redeems the genre with the characters." He went on to describe the film overall as "ingenious in its plotting, colorful in its characters, taut in its direction and fortunate in possessing Cate Blanchett." Others were less generous, though; a Washington Post review threw around the words "laughably ham-fisted" and decried a perceived lack of originality.

Whether you're a Sam Raimi completionist, are a Cate Blanchett super-fan, or just want to see what J.K. Simmons looked like right before he turned into J. Jonah Jameson, The Gift is a solid choice for your next movie night.