Posted September 8, 2014 by editor in Film Reviews

The Guest Review


Adam Wingard made a few waves over the years with his genre pictures A Horrible Way To Die, the V/H/S movies and then the belated release last year of You’re Next. You’re Next in particular generated some good buzz and box office – and as it was such an uncompromising thriller full of blood, violence and a genuine 80’s feel about it, that’s good news for everyone. Wingard hits heavy again with The Guest – a film happy to sit in various genres. So we’re going to call it an action-psycho-comedy-thriller.

David (Dan Stevens) an Afghanistan war veteran visits the home of a deceased comrade in arms only for the family to ask him to stay with them as they all adjust to the loss of their son.  With this in mind: the mother now has a new face to comfort the space her son has left; The father has someone to rant at and drink beer with; The son has a big brother figure to help protect him from the local bullies; and the sister has someone to swoon at. And swoon the ladies do in this film as Steven’s is very much in shape for the role (evidenced in a hilarious – just out of the shower shot).

It soon becomes clear though, that despite all of David’s good intent, he is hiding a few secrets of his own. The first half of the film builds on David’s deeds he does for the family. Everything is fairly signposted in this film – but it does it all with comfort, style and confidence – knowing that you’re going to enjoy the pay off of each set up. The comedic beats are often hilarious, the action beats are brutally realised, and the dramatic performances well judged.

The third act does descend into the silly and obscure But with all that has happened you’ll be content to see it through to its clearly marked climax.

The film is well crafted and boasts one of the best song soundtracks for the year. Yes ok you’re all out lining up for that Guardians soundtrack still, but spare a thought for the moody electronic choices made for this film.

All of the supporting cast have their moments to shine in the film – whether it is for dramatic or comedic effect, but this is Steven’s movie onscreen and he’s clearly going to have options for the next couple of years. Seeing where he takes his career off the back of this will be interesting.

Adam Wingard is also a director who we hope to see big opportunities from. American horror directors today like Wingard, Ti West and Adam Green are delivering some of the most interesting work from the genre they all started in. It’s advisable to keep an eye on what these directors deliver next and to see the opportunities are then offered to them.

In the meantime – go catch The Guest. It’s a riot.

4 Stars



Steven Hurst