The Guest (15)
Dir. Adam Wingard
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
“Be careful who you let in…”
Adam ‘You're Next’ Wingard reanimates the spirit of the 80's with this slick action/horror thriller that sees impossibly sexy David (Dan Stevens of 'Downton Abbey' fame) as a mysterious ex-war hero who calls at the family home of his friend who was killed in combat.
But this David might not be who he is claiming and before you can say ‘don’t trust him’ pretty soon people connected to the family are dying… Yes, The Guest (written by Simon Barrett) is an engaging mix of John Carpenter alike cheap thrills, mixed with some truly kick ass action, all held together by the superbly charismatic Stevens who seems to really relish letting rip in a very different role here.
"friend or foe?"
What makes this much better than similar ‘stranger danger’ flicks is that it gleefully fuses multiple genres – revenge-em-up, psycho thriller, Arnie-eque shooter and even Captain America style super solider adventure – just one with some serious trust issues.
The set pieces are excellent offering up crunching violence, OTT titillation and some very funny moments, all set to a cool ‘Drive’ like synth soundtrack. This is the sort of movie that made BlockBuster (RIP) so successful in the VHS heyday.
"do you want fries with that?"
The rest of the cast provides admirable cannon fodder for David to chew through. Up and coming newcomers Maika Monroe and Brendan Meyer even steal some of their scenes as the children of David’s adoptive family. Lance Reddick pops up as a shadowy secret service operative towards the end on a mission to try and take David down –which sets up a nice climactic showdown.
My friend Tom who I saw this with was smitten with a serious man crush on Stevens, whose perfectly groomed stubble and twinkly blue eyes put him very much in the Ryan Gosling mold of leading men.
"this shot is for Tom"
The Guest is the perfect combination of old-school and cutting edge which delivers a wicked fun night out.
Everything cracks along at an enjoyable pace, and the plot builds its twist up well even if it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The writer / director team of Barrett and Wingard are worth keeping a eye on – having made a superb full on horror with You’re Next and a creepy satisfying thriller with The Guest, I’m already anticipating what they might serve up next.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4 - Be our guest!!)
Awesomeness ööööö – crunching 80's action horror a go go
Laughs öö – amusing in parts
Horror ööö – gets a little nasty
Babes öööö – Maika Monroe
Spiritual Enlightenment öö - Trust issues can be justified
Recommended Hashtags: #TastyGuest
"Maika Monroe is going to be a star!"