The Guest (2014)

The Guest (2014)


He's here to help.

The family of a serviceman killed in action receive an unexpected visit from one of his deadly comrades (Dan Stevens, Downton Abbey's Matthew Crawley) in this creepy thriller from the makers of You're Next. Co-stars Maika Monroe, star of breakout indie horror It Follows.

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Flicks Review

There are lots of so-called “throwback horrors” around at the moment – hello, Housebound – but it doesn't matter what vintage your clothes are if you haven't got the moves.... More

From Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, the prolific writer/director team who brought us You're Next, parts of V/H/S, and the little-seen but worth-seeking-out A Horrible Way To Die, and boasting all kinds of indie horror cameos (Cheap Thrills’ Ethan Embry, The Sacrament’s AJ Bowen), The Guest is a wry, revved-up 1980s-style psycho thriller that barely puts a foot wrong.

Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens excels as a recently discharged soldier who inveigles his way into the Peterson household claiming to have served alongside their son who died in Iraq. Before you can say "Fatal Attraction" he's become the family fixer, seeing off Brendan Meyer’s school bullies and seeing to Maika (It Follows) Monroe's friends with a lethal mixture of smarm and steel. The scene in which devilish Dan takes on a bar full of jocks is one of the slyest, smartest smack-downs you'll see all year.

But beneath the knuckle-gnawing tension and fist-cracking action there's a thick vein of black humour atop a sliver of genuine grief. This allows The Guest to be funny, convincing and exciting all at once, effortlessly straddling the line between cheesy and awesome until it blows its cover in the last act.

If The Guest were a colour it would be the neon blue of its title card: a little bit show-off, a little bit retro, but it'll definitely brighten your night.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 6 ratings, 4 reviews
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BY JackWallace superstar

The Guest is freaking amazeballs, and one of the best movies of the year. Immensely entertaining action thriller. Great soundtrack. Listen to the song "The Magician" by Mike Simonetti. Dan Stevens is fantastic as "David". I'd describe his character as the handsome, charismatic human version of the Terminator. See this awesome movie!

BY Rhys-Rushton superstar

A suspense filled creeper. Not a skin crawler but goo all the same.

Perfectly pitched, paced and performed, The Guest is a straight-faced cinephiles’ homage to 1970s and 1980s era horror thrillers. From the spot on synth score, to the October setting, complete with pumpkins and the seemingly perfect American family, living in the apparently perfect town, The Guest tips its hat, and adds the odd sly wink, to John Carpenter (particularly Christine and his Halloween movies).

Director, Adam Wingard, and writer, Simon Barrett, scored a perfect five from me with... More You’re Next, their brilliantly shot and structured take on the home invasion horror, now they’ve skewed the oh so handsome, charming sociopath thriller too, with Dan Stevens superb in the Christian Slater in Heathers / Rutger Hauer in The Hitcher style role. It Follows star, Maika Monroe, delivers a superb modern day take on the teen girl in peril trope, and the climactic scene is both a tense and funny after school detention set-piece, with shades of Carrie, and pretty much every 80s slasher movie.

Not to give too much away, but the slow build up works, so the less you know going in the better. Think Drew Goddard/Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods in terms of structure, and an homage that manages to be simultaneously sincere and tongue-in-cheek. A pretty neat trick in itself.

With new movie The Woods in the works, Wingard and his screenwriter, Barrett, seem to be on a damn fine roll. If their next is as solidly made and downright entertaining as You’re Next and The Guest, we horror/thriller throwback fans are in for another damn fine treat.Hide

BY ecoory nobody

Cheesy C grade movie

Showing 4 of 4 reviews. See all reviews

The Press Reviews

90% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Wingard's direction is a robust throwback to the VHS gorefests of yore, but with a distinctly more modern slickness and snap. Full Review

  • Wingard is building a résumé that pays at least as much attention to character and story as it does to scares and body count. Full Review

  • Increasingly ludicrous schlocker has plenty of fun with genre convention, unafraid to laugh at itself as the bodies pile up and the knowing nods and winks become manic twitches. Full Review

  • Mainstream audiences may find this too oddball to appreciate as a straight thriller. But tune into its strange frequency and there is much to enjoy — perhaps even adore. Full Review

  • Cool as you like one second, camp as Christmas the next, this entertainingly overpumped action-horror will have genre fans (and their mums) grinning from ear to ear. Full Review

  • Wingard wreaks havoc on another nuclear family in this giddily violent treat for genre fans. Full Review

  • One of the many pleasures of director Adam Wingard's tough, fun thriller is seeing Matthew Crawley -- er, British actor Dan Stevens -- serve up a mesmerizing star turn of psycho charm. Full Review

  • A slow-burn approach seems to pose a challenging change-up for the filmmakers, who struggle to build tension as the second acts stretches well past the point when the level of menace should be escalating. Full Review