Scene 2 – The Guest

Next up is The Guest directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett both of V/H/S and You’re Next acclaim.

It is story about David (Dan Stevens) who pays a visit to the Peterson family, explaining that he served with their recently deceased son stating ‘I was with him when he died’,….Eh..he seems nice… The Peterson family welcome him in with open arms …I know right?!  The mother, Laura (Shelia Kelley) embraces David’s appreciation of her. The father, Spencer (Leland Orser), welcomes a new drinking buddy. The son, Luke (Brendan Meyer), worships David for being like a step-in big brother and dealing with the school bullies. And Lastly the daughter, Anna (Maika Monroe) is smitten by his Ryan Gosling-esque looks and the ‘Good is the new bad’ persona that he has.

In the beginning everything is perfect…if you call letting a person you don’t know into you house, pick your kid up from school and act like shrink to both Spencer and Laura…  Ok, so story moves on and Spencer gets a promotion because his boss dies,  while Anna’s troublemaker boyfriend gets arrested for allegedly killing one of his friends….talk about a bad week. But Anna thinks David is fitting in a little too well and decides to do a background check on him by contacting his old military base finding out he isn’t who he says he is cause a massive manhunt.

Major Carver (Lance ‘Everyday Samuel Jackson ‘ Reddick) leads the search resulting in explosions, gun fire and car crashes. Carver is foiled everytime he encounters Dan because not only has he read ‘101 things that make you a better Ryan Gosling’ but he also watched the Terminator Trilogy the week before and is feeling indestructible!

Overall, The Guest is about below average and moderately entertaining at best, turning 99 mins into ( insert famously long and boring thing here….probably any Hugh Grant movie) The supporting cast don’t really offer much, and neither does plot hole ridden script. And the best part is …….
that the end is left open for a possible sequel…… afternoon guest ??

What baffles me is how this film has gotten so many good reviews….I know each to their own yada yada yada…. but some of the stuff I have read (which actually brought me to watching it ) is laughable! Terms like ‘psychological suspense’ and ‘grindhouse- esque’, were thrown around loosely.  In actuality, the first 20-25 minutes aren’t half bad as a suspense… actually more than half was bad but I’ll move on…this is before it starts to veer off towards another Bourne Identity movie with terribly clichéd ending!!

Thats the biggest problem with this movie, after the initial 20 minutes is that it never settles into the psychological suspense-thriller that it is supposed to be. It adds a spy element, which never really finds its self let alone explains why it’s there, before ending with a horror homage similar to those of the 80’s. The transition from theme to theme, scene to scene just didn’t work, and not in the way were if they tried a different avenue or so on that it could have…this was just ridiculous!

The 80’s theme transferred over to the soundtrack…which for me didn’t work either. The idea I’m guessing was to reinforce the retro feel to some of the cinematography, parts of the script and of course the homage to 80’s horror…again this didn’t work for me. Maybe this is me being to critical…but it just came across as a cheap imitation of Cliff Martinez’s Drive masterpiece.

In fact that what I am going to do, I’m going to watch Drive to see how a  realneo-80’s masterpiece is done!!

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