When director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett unleashed their 2011 horror home invasion flick on the masses it cemented their awesomeness in the film industry. Now they are back and bringing along Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens for their latest film The Guest, but can it continue their rise in the industry and bring something else new to the genre or will it be a visitor they should have left outside?
The Guest follows a young soldier who arrives on the doorstep of the Peterson family, claiming to be a good friend of their beloved son who died in action. The Petersons welcome David into their home and into their lives, but when people start mysteriously dying in town, their teenage daughter Anna starts wondering if David is responsible. Barrett and Wingard has taken a simple idea and made it something action packed, funny and just all around bad ass. Dan Stevens brings a simple charm to the role of David who shifts between mentalities with one second being a charming guy to a merciless killer in the blink of an eye. The first half of the movie he is pretty subtle with his emotions and actions allowing him to slowly come to light as we learn more about him. The story has a slow build, but manages to keep you engaged thanks mostly to the clever writing and excellent performance from Stevens. While they have steered clear of the horror aspect, they have kept the violence intact with some excellent action sequences ranging from hand to hand fighting to gun play that is sure to entertain. Their attention to detail with the fight scenes really paid off helping them to stand out and come across more realistic than most films while never feeling too choreographed. While the physicality of the action scenes were amazing it was the ‘put out’ attitude every time he had to do anything. With every action he gets a look about him or sighs in annoyance before unleashing his unstoppable fury that not only makes it that much more entertaining, but injects some character the sequence that is rarely seen these days.
One of the coolest aspects that you may or may not realize is a connection between the two films in regards to the corporation behind a lot of what is going on showing that these two films exist in the same universe while still being two separate films all together. This film is a throwback to the 80s style action flick filled with everything you could want in the genre with a touch of creepy. It is so refreshing to get such a memorable character that is played so brilliantly in this genre. Wingard and Barrett are true masters and with films like You’re Next and now The Guest on their resume they are clearly here to stay and welcome to stay as long as they want. In addition to the film, this release also features deleted scenes, commentary with director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett and a Q&A with star Dan Stevens.
Be careful who you let in your house when The Guest comes to DVD and Blu-ray on January 6th and currently available on Digital HD now.