Is 'The Gift' Based On A True Story? The Thriller's High School Grudge Seems All Too Real

Holding a grudge isn't healthy, and holding a grudge from high school can cause some serious damage. High school is a formative time in our lives when we are developing the foundation of our adulthood. We are confused, easily influenced, and awkward. In other words: puberty. So when something really traumatic or emotionally damaging happens during those years, it tends to stick with us for the rest of our lives. Some people deal with it, while other people act out in an unhealthy way — like Joel Edgerton's character Gordo in The Gift, who sets out to get revenge on a classmate who wronged him. With a premise like that, it might seem like The Gift is based on a true story — could there really be a guy like Gordon out there?

Surprisingly, all the creepy realness Edgerton brings to the role of Gordo isn't based on real events In the film (also written and directed by the actor), Gordo runs into Simon (Jason Bateman), an old high school "acquaintance." They become friendly and he starts to send him and his wife (Rebecca Hall) a steady stream of mysterious gifts. Things quickly get out of hand, though, as the secrets of Simon and Gordo's "bully vs. bullied" history begin to unfold.

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According to an interview with USA Today, Edgerton didn't base the thriller on a true story, but he does have a connection to this kind of relationship. He wondered what it would be like to have someone, out of nowhere, tap you on the shoulder and say, “Hey, I think I know you. We went to school together.” He also wanted to make the audience ask the question, "Was I really a nice person in high school?" in a terrifying setting.

“I remember I spent some time being a mean kid and had people being mean to me," he said. "So I can understand both characters pretty well.”

Even though The Gift isn't based on a specific true story, there are some crazy high school revenge stories that have happened in real life. Here are some of them:

Man Kills Classmate After 50 Years For Locker Room Prank

In 2012, Carl Ericsson shot and killed Norman Johnson in South Dakota in what was thought to be over a grudge that happened 50 years ago. Johnson was a sports star at his high school and Ericsson was a student sports manager. In the decades-old incident, Johnson apparently pulled a jockstrap over Ericsson's head.

Nurse Kills Woman Over High School Feud


During a routine cosmetic surgery in 2001, Sandra Joyner died from an overdose of a painkiller. It was ruled as an accident, but after further investigation, it was believed that the nurse anesthetist, Sally Jordan Hill, purposely gave her a too-high dose. She was arrested for murder. The motive? Allegedly, there was a grudge between the two of them spanning several decades back: Joyner stole Hill's boyfriend in high school 30 years ago.

South Korean Man Kills Former Teacher After After 21 Year-Grudge


In 1987, a man in South Korea was accused by his teacher for cheating. Over 21 years later, the man, only known by the name "Kim," went to his home and killed him.

Holding a grudge is never a good idea, okay? If you do, please find another way to handle it in a less creepy and/or violent manner than these people. I would suggest therapy.

Images: STX Productions, LLC., Imgur, Giphy (2)