Review: The Guest
I stumbled across The Guest when it was included on a list of films that had flown under the radar in 2014, but were worth a watch. The story follows David, a soldier who has returned from war and seeks residency with the Petersen’s, the family of another soldier, now deceased, with whom David claims to have fought alongside. Dan Stevens, who is best known for his role in Downton Abbey, portrays the character of David with an endearing yet sinister charisma, leaving the audience entranced yet suspicious as to what the hidden agenda of this character may be. Dan Stevens succeeds in provoking an unsettling relationship with the character throughout the film; he connects with the audience through piercing stares that show he is not necessarily all he seems, and causes an inner conflict between finding him alluring yet making your skin crawl. The audience are able to compare this reaction with Maika Monroe’s terrific performance as Anna, the daughter in the Petersen family and the only member of the family who susses out that David is not to be trusted.
As the film progresses, the action and thrills explode into a truly terrific third act. Not going easy on the gore throughout, it consists of downright ridiculous scenes involving action, violence and a rocketing body count. Many other films have failed to get away with taking such a turn, but the way in which the film laughs at itself, and does not take itself too seriously makes this a truly entertaining, thrilling romp in which the audience can revel in the increasingly ludicrous plot.
The filmmakers Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett succeed in creating a genre film that contains throwbacks to 80s horror and thrillers. The John Carpenter influences are clear to see, in fact, many comparisons have been made between The Guest and Halloween. Another film to which The Guest can be compared to is Drive. More than simply the 80s influences, each film has a terrific soundtrack, that if it were to lose, the overall impact and viewing of the film would suffer hugely. The music found within both these films are quintessential to the plot and genre thus this is one of The Guest‘s biggest triumphs in what makes the film so enjoyable.
Overall, if you are looking for a thrilling, exciting and above all fun film to watch, The Guest is a perfect choice. It looks and sounds great, the actors deliver fantastic performances and also has the potential to leave you questioning what kind of person it makes you, if like me, you were also rather pleased with the ending.