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.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Internet Trolls and Critics in the Age of Rotten Tomatoes - A Look at the Critical Response to GOTTI

Hate, intolerance, and cruelty are the most valued currencies in the digital age. Online publications deal in the same eye-catching tabloid headlines that were once exclusive to rags like WEEKLY WORLD NEWS and the NATIONAL ENQUIRER. The monetization of clicks is ruining many forms of journalism and film criticism is just one of them. When organizations can see what headlines are generating revenue its only natural that sensationalism would start to rise. There is no consorted hivemind like conspiracy to destroy certain films but rather internet activity that has boosted a certain type of writer. From the outside, online film critics share quite a bit with their Twitter troll counterparts.

The critical response to John Travolta's passion project Gotti has been less than favorable, in fact, it has been downright abysmal. A project over ten years in the making, Travolta has poured his heart and soul into this venture. And many writers seem to take pleasure in the film's failure.

I…

Richard Armitage interview on SLEEPWALKER

SLEEPWALKER is the latest film from director Elliott Lester. Troubled by bouts of sleepwalking and disturbing nightmares, graduate student Sarah Foster goes to her university's sleep research center for help. When she wakes up after her first night of being monitored, the world she lives in seems to have changed in subtle, Twilight-Zone-esque ways. In fact, every time she goes to sleep now, she wakes up in a slightly different version of her world. With the help of sleep researcher Dr. Scott White, she tries to work her way back to the reality she started in. But when they finally succeed, it’s revealed that Sarah’s world is not what she thought at all.

Today my guest is one of the stars SLEEPWALKER, Richard Armitage. Tonight we talk about his work on that film as well as his work as Thorin Oakenshiled in The Hobbit Films, as John Proctor in The Crucible, and his upcoming films Ocens 8 and the Julie Delpy directed film My Zoe.

Sleepwalker is Now Available on Digital HD and On Dem…

NO ALTERNATIVE review

Depression is often marked by sadness, despair, and hopelessness. The sense that things will not get better is something most of us pass through at different points in our lives. But depression is something more than that. It’s not just a temporary feeling, it’s a debilitating emotional state that you can’t simply pull yourself out of. The angry outbursts, irritability, and frustration that come along with depression can isolate individuals suffering from this condition and push them deeper into their own thoughts. Everyone needs to be heard and sometimes those who can’t express themselves in traditional forms find their voice in art.
Edvard Munch wrestled with agoraphobia and frequently had hallucinations, one of which inspired THE SCREAM, a painting so iconic that even the most casual art enthusiast is familiar with the piece.  Sylvia Plath took a more direct approach with THE BELL JAR and laid out the details of her depression with brutal honesty. Briana Dickerson a white suburba…