The Guest DVD Review

DVD Review by Jon E Clist

The Premise
A soldier introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence.

The Review
Who doesn’t like a good b-grade nice guy turned crazy guy thriller? Well I guess a bunch of people don’t and that’s why they are B-Grade and not A-Grade. However there is something rather satisfying about a film where a character is introduced who seems like a fighter for justice and you kind of root for them and as the story reveals the character to be flawed, you still want to root for them even though it starts to get rather hard to justify.

I think from watching the trailer and even reading the plot you are already going to get a feel that this main character is not what he appears to be, so it isn’t going to really be all that much of a spoiler alert to learn that he carries some baggage. However you’ll have to watch the film to find out just how big this baggage is and what it leads him to do. In that lead role is Dan Stevens, with a familiar face, and for the most part I struggled to place that face. Until I saw that he was Sir Lancelot in the latest edition of Night at the Museum. Plus of course he comes from the massive drama school that is Downton Abbey. There is a television programme that nearly equals it’s creating of stars with that of Home and Away. Of course it’s that proper Englishman feel that gives him the serious tone that works well in this role. Calculating and devastating.

Overall the story is rather simple and plods along at a good pace. In fact the film is intentionally structured as a horror film with the pace of a thriller, to help with building the tension. Screenwriter Simon Barrett's original script was much more serious revenge story which involved soldier returning from war and suffering from PTSD, and him doing complicated revenge plan against some family. This script was actually never finished because Barrett gave up from it. But when director Adam Wingard came up with idea for what eventually turned out to be The Guest, Barrett used some parts of this old script for the movie.

The Verdict
A good action/revenge thriller with a nice goodguy to badguy flow that helps to add weight to a thin and simplistic plot, that has been squeezed between extreme violence and vengeance.

The Trailer

The Info
DVD Releases: 14th October 2015
Rating: R16 – Contains Graphic violence, drug use, offensive language & sexual material
Duration: 96 minutes 
Genre:  Drama Thriller
Starring: Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Brendan Meyer, Sheila Kelley, Leland Orser, Lance Reddick, Tabatha Shaun, Chase Williamson
Director: Adam Wingard (V/H/S/2, V/H/S)

The Extras

When David and Anna are at the Halloween party a guest can be seen wearing the Fox mask worn by one of the home invaders in Adam Wingard and Simon Barret's previous feature: You're Next. The party guest is played by Steve Moore, who composed the score for the film.

The day Dan Stevens was cast, he was assigned personal trainers and dietitians to begin his physical transformation for the role. He worked out daily for 2 hours a day, even during shooting eventually putting on 25 pounds of muscle and building six pack abs for his shirtless scene.

Steve Moore, who composed the score for the movie, used the same type of synthesizers that John Carpenter and Alan Howarth used for composing the score of Halloween 3: Season of the Witch (1982).