The Guest is something fresh and interesting with plenty of action, an intriguing story and memorable characters; Dave especially is one of the coolest characters of the year.
Plot: 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 accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence.
Review: I think one of the lead character’s last lines in this movie pretty much sums it up: “What the fuck?”
The Guest is one of my top films of the year; it seamlessly splices genres like action, thriller and even a little horror to make it engrossing from start to finish.
Dan Stevens gets the award for badass of the year with his character Dave; you know something isn’t right about him from the start but you aren’t quite sure what. He’s unbelievably cool and his bar fight with some school bullies is one of the best fight scenes of the year. I love watching bullies get what they deserve and boy do they get it in this movie.
When Dave first arrives on the Peterson’s doorstep, he says that he was a friend of their late son and the mother (Sheila Kelley) is immediately taken in by him. At first I thought surely there’s no way she would even open the door to a complete stranger but then she is utterly grief stricken over the loss of her son and Dave is a connection to him. The scene where she breaks down crying is heartbreaking and incredibly well acted.
Dave befriends her son Luke Peterson (Brendan Meyer), a put upon kid with a bully problem and he teaches him how to stand up for himself with interesting results.
The acting by the entire cast is first rate but this is Dan’s movie; his shit-eating grin and ice cool demeanour guarantee this is a future star in the making. Hard to believe he’s as English as they come and used to be in Downton Abbey; he’s believably American in this with a great accent.
Maika Monroe made an impression too as her character Anna is layered and unpredictable; she is clearly attracted to Dave but she instinctively knows he isn’t what he initially seems.
The Guest has a fantastic 80’s style synth score and feels like a mixture of Drive, Pacific Heights and American Psycho. It’s incredibly atmospheric and just grabbed me right from the start.
The last half hour is totally batshit when all is revealed and we get a pretty impressive shoot-out with some dark humour too. There were moments when I was just laughing hysterically, especially during the grenade scene was was pure Patrick Bateman. It doesn’t skimp on violence either and manges to shock, which for me is definitely saying something…
I don’t want to say anything else; if you get the chance to check it out then you’ll be in for an absolute blast.
Overall, The Guest is something fresh and interesting with plenty of action, an intriguing story and memorable characters; Dave especially is one of the coolest characters of the year.