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?


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.


About emmakwall

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

  1. Stu says:

    You definitely liked it more than I did! But I had fun with the film and it was better than I was expecting. And I agree the soundtrack is pretty cool.

  2. table9mutant says:

    Ha! He does look like Chloe Grace Moretz! Am I the only one who doesn’t find Dan Stevens hot, though?? Lol. Nice review, Emma. Glad you liked this. 🙂 I saw this a few weeks ago and am still not sure what to think of it. I appreciate that it was “different”, but, I don’t know… I get the Drive comparisons but don’t think it’s as good as that. I definitely prefer Monroe’s It Follows. 🙂

    • emmakwall says:

      I couldn’t believe how much he looked like her!!!! Haha 🙂

      I only really fancy David, not so much Dan Stevens (Dan – if you’re reading this, sorry to break your heart!). In fact…I actually fell in love with David if I’m honest!

      I preferred this to Drive but that’s just personal, I don’t think it’s better as such, I just preferred it because it was more kick arse. I also looooved the soundtrack. It really made a huge impact on me. The Drive soundtrack was brilliant too of course. I have yet to see It Follows but after everyone’s sterling reviews, I know I’ll love it!!! 🙂

  3. sweet Cheke says:

    nice review I really enjoyed this thriller and a big part of the enjoyment is basking in it’s stylistic references.

  4. Tom says:

    Am I allowed to say I got the hots for Mr Dan “Shower Scene” Stevens too?

    Or is that just crossing the line?

    Fab post, this movie was kickass. I want to rent it again now.

    • emmakwall says:

      You’re definitely allowed! That’s great!!!


      He was such a cool dude wasn’t he. I mean yeah he’s physically attractive but it was more to with his demeanour, he was just a cool bastard!

      Thanks Tom 🙂 I love this film too, I wanna watch it again as well now!!!

  5. Laura says:

    I didn’t read this. I’m going to watch the film instead, but I’ll definitely come back : )

  6. Good old Adam Wingard – he’s one of my most highly rated recent directors. This film was just awesome, as is all his other stuff! I agree, Dan Stephens certainly outshines himself in this one 😛 He’s looking very nice haha!

    I said I thought it had a 70s/80s thriller vibe the whole way through it, and the music definitely plays on that theme. Great movie, I want to watch it again now! Thanks Emma 🙂

    • emmakwall says:

      Thank YOU Zoe! For all your amazing comments 🙂

      God I loved this film!!! So much!!! I was very taken with it (and Dan Stephens!) and I want to watch it again now too haha 🙂

      He was such a cool motherfucker and the whole film, the music, the atmosphere, it was just brilliant!!!!!! 😀

  7. vinnieh says:

    Still have to see this, but it looks amazing.

  8. Pingback: You’re Next (2011) | emmakwall (explains it all)

  9. Zoë says:

    Hell yeah lady, we have discussed this at length and you know how I feel about it and OMG Stevens ❤ My shower is available at ANY time he may choose to use it. Just saying.

    • emmakwall says:

      I researched “I’ve fallen in love with a fictional character” the other day on google…… I need help!!!!!!! Haha 🙂

      Thanks Zoe!!!!! Totally agree!!

  10. robbinsrealm says:

    Excellent post!

    I couldn’t agree more with so many of the valid points you bring up regarding the film.

    As you mentioned in your post, it is better to go in with as little knowledge as possible when it comes to watching the movie. I did, in fact, rent the film from on-demand, and enjoyed it so much that I watched it on consecutive evenings. I can’t remember the last time I did that with any movie because there are always so many new, as well as old, films that I have yet to see, and want to.

    The soundtrack certainly helped to showcase what was transpiring on screen, and that was an excellent comparison you made to the film “Drive.”

    The movie never gets dull, as you mentioned, and Dan Stevens completely embodied his role.

    • emmakwall says:

      Thank you so much Jonathan 🙂 your comments are always such a joy to read and I love the points you made!

      I too ended up watching this about 3 times in a fortnight, I just couldn’t wait to watch it again!!

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