Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe
September 17, 2014
1 hour 39 minutes
There aren't enough words in the dictionary or in my head that can describe how much I loved "The Guest." This film comes from director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett, whose last collaboration together came in the form of the wickedly clever home-invasion flick "You're Next." The film itself stars Dan Stevens from "Downton Abbey" as David, a man who knew the eldest son of the Peterson family, Caleb, during the war before he was killed in battle. Out of respect for his friend, David comes to the Peterson family to give them their family member's final words to them. In return, the Petersons invite David to stay at their home for a little bit, and of course he says yes. What the Peterson family don't know about David is that he has a lot of hidden skeletons in his closest that are just irking to come out as his stay with them increases.
If you looked up the year "2014" and the term "fun" in my own personal dictionary of life, the film you would find there is "The Guest." This is the type of movie that fans of the 80s, the filmmakers behind this, and action-thrillers in general will swoon over and possibly even thank the almighty lord over, because it's just THAT good. At least, that's how good it was for me. It could have just been the experience I had seeing this flick, but to me this was everything I could have asked for in a cinematic venture, and then some. The trailers, which don't give anything big away, show this off as a straight up action-thriller when it's actually more than that. This film is actually played to be not only smarter than it looks, but a hell of a lot funnier than it looks as well.
This might have been the hardest I've laughed in a movie all year, and this film doesn't even technically qualify as a "comedy" in the first place. Part of this is due to how expertly written and played the character of David is. The script itself is fantastic, but the way Dan Stevens plays this part just takes the film to a whole new level of awesomeness in my eyes. Everything this character does, from his smile to the way he can get the best results from others for the people around him, is done with such precision and accuracy that it's hard NOT to love this guy. Even when we as an audience start to learn about all of the skeletons hiding in David's closet, it's still hard to not love how cynical and devilishly spectacular he is as a character. His character, without spoiling anything, is like the nicest and sweetest, and yet most dangerous and most frightening version of the T-100 out there.
I could honestly go on for several more paragraphs talking about this movie, but honestly, I don't want to. The reason for this is because I feel like talking about everything I loved about this movie would give away some of the twists and turns and surprises that the film has to offer. At this moment, it seems that this movie has sadly left theaters in the United States, which is a shame because seeing this on the big screen can have a big difference on watching the same film on a TV, computer, or phone. Having said that, I have now received word that this film is hitting VOD in December with a Blu-Ray release in January, so this movie won't be out of reach forever. To say that I'm recommending this movie is an understatement of my thoughts as a whole. A movie hasn't made me feel this great and so happy to talk about in a very long time, which is saying something since most of my reviews are positive. In the end, I'm not just recommending "The Guest;" I'm imploring you to see it when you can. It's films like this that remind me how awesome movies can be when given the chance to be made.
ME WITH THE SCREENWRITER OF "THE GUEST," SIMON BARRETT, AFTER A SPECIAL MIDNIGHT SCREENING OF THE FILM AS A PART OF THE 23RD PHILADELPHIA FILM FESTIVAL ON OCTOBER 18, 2014!!!!