Monday, December 29, 2014

The Guest (2014)

Director: Adam Wingard
Writer:    Simon Barrett
Cast:       Dan Stevens, Sheila Kelley, Maika Monroe

A soldier introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of of accidental deaths seems to be connected to his presence.

The film starts off in a very 'Hesher' like fashion with the soldier (Dan Stevens) standing up for the various members of family in difficult situations. He wins over their trust but we kind of know where it is heading with the film's tagline being: 'Be careful who you let in'. In the last third of the film it goes all apeshit crazy culminating with the scene inside Halloween maze and misleading foot-marks, a very overt reference to 'The Shining'. It also got 'Drive' like music to boot and a very 80s horror thrillers' vibe from which it is inspired. The character of soldier is played by Dan Stevens in a very Ryan Gosling like manner.

Overall it is very good watch if you can appreciate its craziness and you will end up with the last line from the film uttered by Maika Monroe-'What the fuck!!!'.  Still there is a very cheap feel to it and I wish they used darkness a lot more giving it a more creepy look. A little bit more sexual tension could have also helped. Maybe it was intentional from their part to take the subversive approach to genre conventions. It was also good to see Daniels from 'The Wire' (Lance Reddick) in it playing a not so different role. It is always good to see actors from 'The Wire' popping up in things. I haven't seen any other films from the director who seems to be a sort of horror specialist. The Guest is more of a thriller than horror.

Rating: 3.5/5