Brits are all the rage in Hollywood at the moment. For a brief time they were dominating the Superhero genre with Brits all playing Superman, Spiderman and Batman at one point. Now hoping to make an impact across the pond is former Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens, but instead of playing the hero Stevens is going to the dark side in thriller The Guest. But can he escape the ghost of Matthew Crawley?
As the Peterson family struggle to cope after the death of their eldest son Caleb, a stranger named David (Dan Stevens) turns up on their door claiming he was a fellow soldier and friend of Caleb. As he charms the family into letting him stay he soon integrates himself firmly into their home and their lives. But it soon becomes apparent that David is not all that he seems.
I loved director Adam Wingard and screenwriter Simon Barrett’s previous work You’re Next, and The Guest proves that the former was no fluke. While The Guest isn’t as good as You’re Next, it’s still for the most part a fun and thrilling film. The build up is great as you wonder what exactly David is up to and what he’ll do next as he ‘helps’ the Peterson family. The movie is a bit of a throwback to horror/thrillers of the 70/80’s, complete with a seemingly unstoppable villain. I also liked the movie’s soundtrack a lot.
Dan Stevens clearly enjoys playing a role that has little resemblance to Matthew Crawley and Downton Abbey. It has to be said he is much more attractive playing an American Psychopath than a posh Brit (what that says about me may have to be analysed in another post). His is clearly the stand out role as the charming and dangerous David, manipulating those around him with a smile then wiping the floor with those who dare cross him or the Petersons. Maika Monroe also shines as Anna Peterson, who is the only person slightly suspicious of David’s motives.
The movie starts off so well it’s a shame that its final act lets it down. The answers we get about David aren’t satisfying and the big chase sequence is a bit too clichéd. It’s a shame as you feel the movie could have been something really special instead of just a fun thriller.
Still on the basis of You’re Next and The Guest, it will be interesting to see what Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett get up to in the future.
Rating 3.5/5 – a disappointing final act aside this is perfect for some Friday night thrills