The Guest: Film Review
Cast: Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Brendan Meyer, Lance Reddick
Director: Adam Wingard
From the director of the brilliant You're Next comes a thriller that for some will cast a new light on cousin Matthew from Downton Abbey.
Dan Stevens stars as David, a former soldier who one day shows up on the doorstep of the Peterson family, claiming to have been a friend of their son who was killed in action. Not wanting to appear unkind, the family invites him to stay while he gets settled.
However, as David spends more time with the family, there are a series of deaths, leading daughter Anna (It Follows star Maika Monroe) to suspect him.
Lurid and trashy, revelling in its 80s attitude and soundtrack, The Guest is a hyper-stylish thriller that works on many levels, inveigling its way into your consciousness.
Stevens drops the Downton charm and impresses with his nonchalant and detached exterior belying the menace within his character, but continues to drop hints thanks to underplayed looks and momentary glances. And Monroe, who was so impressive in It Follows, cements her credentials as an up and comer as Anna, who balances paranoia and growing up in equal measure.
Wingard's latest is a genre piece in many ways with the retro feel seeping its way through but without soaking it in past glories. A synth soundtrack sets the tone for the ultra-violence, but there's more than just the music to admire; while the explanations as to what's going on may be a little lacking (there's no doubt you may feel a little cheesed at never getting the full picture), the film's ambiguous and mysterious tone works as it heads to its conclusion.
The Guest is a thriller that works on many levels, a powerful blast of retro fused with the modern and cements Wingard's place as a genre master.