Skip to main content

The Guest



2014
Directed By Adam Wingard
Starring Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe & Sheila Kelly 


David (Stevens) is the kind of guy you want to have over for dinner. He is kind and cordial when he shows up on the doorstep of the Peterson family, claims to be a dear friend to their son who died in combat and they welcome him with open arms. This stranger is allowed to stay in their home and become a part of their lives. Shortly after his arrival people begin to die and Anna (Monroe) wonders if there is more to David than he lets on. 

A soldier on leave befriends the family of a fallen comrade, only to become a threat to all around him when it’s revealed he’s hiding dangerous secrets from his past.

Adam Wingard the director behind You're Next and the Phase 1 Clinical Trials segment of V/H/S 2 certainly knows how to build tension and create an unsettling atmosphere. All of his films are situated in a hyper reality that is very similar to our world but everything is just slightly off. The rules and physics of his worlds are similar enough to our reality that you are pulled in but you are never allowed to feel comfortable. 

Featuring music from Clan of Xymox and Sisters of Mercy the score and soundtrack give the film a driving synth rhythm that feels like something from 70s or 80s John Carpenter with a healthy dose of Goblin thrown in for good measure. 




Dan Stevens gives a stunning performance as David. He had to be both charming and intimidating and that's a difficult tightrope to walk. If you lean to far to either side the character would have been unbelievable. Stevens has the physical presence to intimidate most but he has that boy next door charm that would allow you to throw him the keys to your new car without thinking twice about it. We as the auidence all know that David is not to be trusted and that's where Anna steps in. She is our voice. The one person who smells bullshit and Maika does a great job in this role. She brings a surprising amount of humor to this otherwise bleak tale. Our voice and our relief.

The film is clearly an indictment on what president Dwight Eisenhower referred to as the Military Industrial Complex but nothing about the film comes across as heavy handed or preachy. This is a film with a subtle but important message and the action/scfi elements make the medecine go down smoothly. Constant unquestioned military action is not patriotic in fact I would go as far as to say its jingoistic and dangerous. Soapbox potion is now over, we can resume with the article.

The Guest is steeped in genre tropes but transcends any genre. In the same way Night of the Living Dead is a zombie horror film this film is far more than conventional labeling would lead you to believe. The Guest opens in theaters Sept 17th.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trainwreck

No contemporary filmmaker has chronicled the messy human experience with the eye and ear of a comedic cultural anthropologist like JUDD APATOW. Hits as varied as those he’s directed, like Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and those he’s produced, like Superbad and Bridesmaids, are all unified by their honest, unflinching, comic look at how complicated it is to grow up in the modern world. Apatow has also built a history of helping break distinctive new comedy voices into the mainstream, from Seth Rogen to Lena Dunham, among many others. Now, in his fifth feature film as a director, Apatow again brings a portrait of an unforgettable character, and a portrayal by a breakout new comedy star, together in a film written by and starring AMY SCHUMER (TV’s Inside Amy Schumer) as a woman who lives her life without apologies, even when maybe she should apologize. U n d o u b t e d ly, S c h u m e r h a s b e e n s t e a d i ly achieving cultural notoriety of her own. From her bruta

THE True Bromance Film Podcast - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Episode 208 - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse We like to keep up with the latest and greatest in the film universe so for this episode we're dialing up Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In a world where superhero films saturate the market, can an animated feature distinguish itself from the pack? MOVIES DISCUSSED THIS WEEK: A Fistful of Dollars, The Favourite, Skyscraper, The Meg, RBG, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Searching, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

THE True Bromance Film Podcast - Inglourious Basterds

Episode 219 - Inglourious Basterds This week we are celebrating 10 years of Brad Pitt and his band of merry men wreaking havoc in Nazi Germany in Quentin Tarantino's masterpiece, Inglourious Basterds.