The Guest (2014)


The Guest – film review

The Guest is a 2014 action thriller directed by horror regular Adam Wingard and starring Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey fame!) Maika Monroe (It Follows) and Brendan Mayer.

Now before I bore the pants off you (not as fun as it sounds) I must just say that if there is a fiber in your being thinking you’d probably really like this movie, that it sounds like your kind of movie and you’d kind of like to watch it then STOP READING NOW. Stop reading now and just watch it. But for those of you unsure (or desperate for more), please read on.

So The Guest’s title refers to main character David (Stevens) who, at the beginning of the film, is seen knocking on the door of the Peterson household, introducing himself as a friend of their son who died at war. David ‘the guest’ is welcomed into their home immediately – but is everything as normal as it seems?

david

Well, short answer – no. And as the dead bodies mount up, so does suspicion towards David. But really The Guest is a movie that is best watched blindly with little knowledge on the plot beforehand. All you really need to know is that David knocks on the door and then basically it’s a series of no holds barred, adrenaline fuelled thrill ride type stuff.

But see for yourself, it’s more fun that way.

So what else can we discuss?

Well the soundtrack is absolutely divine. It reminded me of the Drive soundtrack (and that won’t be the first comparison to Drive that you’ll hear either) but a lot less smushy and a lot more kick arse. It’s made up of 80s synth-pop and weird German rock music crossed with trance.

It’s very atmospheric and massively adds to the feel of the film. I’d go as far to say that the film relies somewhat on the soundtrack. It enhances scenes incredibly, whether you consciously realise it or not. The crescendos of music match the crescendos of the film – literally and figuratively.

So speculation says that The Guest was either made as a homage to 80s action / thriller films (extremely likely), a tongue-in-cheek imitation of the same genre (very possible) and I’ve also read this classic – “a cross between The Terminator and The Bourne Identity”. Perhaps, but it’s so much better.

First and foremost The Guest is a fun film. It never gets dull. It’s the kind of movie that after it’s finished you think heck, shall we put that on again?! Dan Stevens is also amazing as David and I’m not just talking about scenes like this…

the guest

Though scenes like this were gratefully received. And I 100% know I’m not alone in thinking this (the rest of the female population does too).

In all seriousness though it must be said that Dan Stevens is absolutely brilliant in this. His performance really stood out and I thought his accent was great. Accents can be tricky for even the most established of actors but he sounded proper, low key American.

And you don’t have to actually fancy David to respect and adore him. I watched The Guest with my brother and he was in love with him after about 15 minutes too. He’s just one of those cool-as-a-cucumber type people (even a bit smug at times) and Stevens plays him soooo well.

David is such an interesting character! You know he’s dangerous, you know there’s more to him than meets the eye – but he’s pretty, he’s polite and he never raises his voice. Though the whole movie is awesome with super slick violence and over the top greatness, it’s undoubtedly David that leads the show.

The Guest is a very entertaining and interesting movie. One that – if I dare say – you don’t see every day. Loads of fun throughout, absolutely fantastic soundtrack and concluding with a dramatic and kind of hilarious action filled ending.

I would highly recommend this movie, it’s the best I’ve seen in a long time.

And can I just say quickly, how much does Luke (Brandon Meyer) look like Chloe Moretz?! It’s seriously uncanny.

Guest+Premiere+2014+Toronto+International+gy0ptmQtslgl.jpg

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About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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75 Responses to The Guest (2014)

  1. I quite liked this film, I was loving it and very intrigued by David and couldn’t wait to find out who he really was, then we found out and yeah, I was like “really??”

    I wasn’t too mad about the ending either, I think by that point the whole mood I’d enjoyed before hand had drastically changed. It was good, but seemed to belong in a different film.

    Saying that though, the first two acts were pretty great and I’d definitely watch it again.

    The daughter/sister was quite fit as well!

    • emmakwall says:

      I know what you mean, perhaps we were expecting something a bit more outlandish with “who” David was. But I did love the idea that he was genuinely trying to help the family and if the fit daughter/sister hadn’t had ever got suspicious, all would have been well! (except a few dead bodies…)

      I found the ending quite comical, whether it was intentional or not. When that black army dude fell dead through the glittery stuff I was literally laughing out loud! How could that not be tongue-in-cheek?

      I loved David. One of my favourite scenes – NO not the shower scene! – was when he taught those bullies a lesson in the bar, stuff like that is so satisfying!

      It was really David’s character and the acting from Dan Stevens that made this so special. And the soundtrack and the weird 80s horror/thriller vibe!

      Thanks Damian 🙂

      • Don’t go blaming the fit daughter/sister for the total chaos of an ending, she did the right thing! Ha! Yeah, it’s hard to go into the whole “who’s David” thing without spoiling it, Some Emma fans might scroll down and read these comments, so , I dunno, I just wish it was a bit more realistic.

        That’s what I mean about the ending. I agree it was very tongue in cheek and like a homage to 80’s slashers, but it didn’t really keep with the tone of the rest of the film. I can’t say I was even disappointed, I just think the whole David mystique went out the window and it just became good guys versus the bad guy. David could have been anyone at that point, it didn’t matter.

        Ha! I liked the shower scene because the daughter/sister looked all horney! But yeah, the bar scene was absolutely amazing. My favourite scene too. I love shit like that, it reminded me of the end of Superman 2 where Superman gets his powers back and twats that guy that previously bullied him in the diner. Know what I mean?

        Yeah, I totally agree that he made the film. It was a truly great and convincing performance. The fit daughter/sister helped a lot as well.

        • emmakwall says:

          That’s actually a great point, David could have been anyone by that stage in the film you’re right. Whereas before the goodie/baddie lines were more blurred.

          Yes good point, I better not say too much for those who haven’t watched it!!

          The fit daughter/sister really reminded me of someone! I’ve heard some people say she looked like Gwen Stefani. She did, but I’m not sure if that was who I was thinking of.

          Yeah bless her, she did do the right thing! How was she to know? And she made him a mix CD!!! Bless her.

          I felt sorry for her and her little brother at the end, what a series of unfortunate events…!

          Like so many films, the best half was probably the first half.

          Yes I know exactly hat you mean and there’s nothing better or more satisfying than seeing a bully get what they deserve. Kapow!!!

          • She does look like Gwen Stefani actually, but I don’t really fancy her, mainly because of her lack of bappage and her music annoys me. The fit daughter/sister’s mix CD was well better than anything she’s produced!!

            I kind of felt sorry for the brother as well which was surprising because I usually hate that kind of character, but he didn’t do anything over the top to annoy me.

            Have you seen A Horrible Way to Die? Another Adam Wingard film starring a lot of his “mumblegore” clique. I particularly enjoyed that one, but I love mumblegore!

  2. alexraphael says:

    Cool review. Glad you liked it. Not heard anything else about it.

  3. sweetarchive says:

    I didn’t watch this film yet, but after reading your review, I sure will and soon! I’m also a huge 80’s synth-pop fan, so I have to check it out!

  4. Great review. I loved this film 😀

  5. Natasha says:

    I need to watch this! Most people seem to have enjoyed. Great post.

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks Natasha!

      I only watched it recently (hence the post haha) but it had been on my watch list for a while and I felt exactly the same as you. Everyone is talking about this movie….and I need to see it!!

  6. I absolutely love Dan Stephens and all began from Downton. Unfortunately I didn’t like this movie at all, I had high hopes and I was really disappointed. They snapped him, he got two shots and he wasn’t killed. Wtf?

    • emmakwall says:

      I think it was supposed to be fairly over-the-top and even a little tongue-in-cheek. I saw an interview with Dan (calling him Dan like he’s my best friend haha!) and he said that both him and the director of the movie wanted to make people laugh in a ‘twisted’ way. I think it was just supposed to be over the top – terminator style!!

      Or maybe they just wanna do a sequel?!

      😀

  7. Good write-up, been wanting to see this for a while now. Hopefully soon.

  8. Sounds like a good movie Ems. And the eye candy 🙂 🙂 🙂

  9. Agree with the whole thing–and his accent was excellent. Definitely Chloe Moretz with a wig!

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks Susan!! How are you?

      Could Dan Stevens be joining Cillian Murphy in the ‘I fancy you!’ hall of fame?!!

      As soon as I saw Luke the brother I said to my brother Harry “he looks just like Chloe Moretz!!” and Harry said “Oh my god I was just thinking the same thing” ha ha ha 🙂

      • Splendid, hope you are well!

        Hmmm I can’t go that far yet but I was impressed with Dan Stevens for sure! He does a better American(midwestish/southerny) accent than most of Cillian’s attemps-love him but that’s not one of his strengths! I didn’t notice anything off with Dan Steven’s at all, he was fantastic.

        I can’t wait to point out the Chloe-likeness to my friend Maggie.

        • emmakwall says:

          It’s annoying there’s not better pics on google images. Because in the movie he literally could have BEEN Chloe Moretz!!!!

          I’m okay thanks Susan! It’s sunny today so my spirits are (most probably temporarily) lifted 😀

          I totally agree! Even the best actors (Cillian – swoon!) can’t always do accents. Leo DiCaprio can be a bit dodgy sometimes but he’s a terrific actor!

          WE LOVE DAN!!!!

  10. Justine B. says:

    You are definitely not alone in loving that shower scene. Oh my, that man, can’t help but swoon! Haha. Love him and this movie. Also, I thought the exact same thing about Luke looking like a male Chloe Moretz! That’s funny.

    • emmakwall says:

      They are twins!!! And they’re both good looking, neither look ‘weird’ or anything. But SOMEHOW they look identical?!!

      When he came out of the shower I think I almost fainted. And so did the sister in the movie!!!!! Thanks for your comment Justine 🙂 I was thinking of you and Zoe when put that picture in!!!!

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