I heard about The Guest a while back on Comedy Film Nerds. It’s been on my radar since then, but I hadn’t been able to watch it. The film, directed by Adam Wingard, is currently available to stream on Netflix. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was about, but I knew it had a twist. There is some interesting stuff in this film and some good performances. The Guest earns the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.
David (Dan Stevens), a soldier, shows up at the Peterson’s home claiming to have been friends with their son who died at war. He proves himself to be a good person looking to find his way after the war. However, a series of accidental deaths seem to be occurring that benefit the family in some fashion. Anna has her doubts about David and these events and starts to investigate. That’s when things get dangerous.
I really liked Dan Stevens in this movie. He’s charming and extremely intense. It’s easy to see why Laura Peterson (Sheila Kelley) would invite David into her home. She’s sad about her son’s death and any connection to him is welcome. While her husband Spencer (Leland Orser) is skeptical at first, it’s not long before he’s opening up to him as well. We don’t see that there is something off with David until he goes to sleep. All he does is sit on the bed and stare in a creepy fashion as it fades to black.
It was at that point coupled with the Spencer noticing that David had no issue drinking alcohol that I got suspicious to the film. I initially assumed it would become a home invasion type of film. Yet, the lack of sleep and noted high tolerance made me wonder what the deal was. When he opts to pick Luke (Brendan Meyer) up from school, we see his talent start to rise. He follows the football player bullies to a local bar that serves them. The sequence that follows shows Stevens talent and an old school action sequence. The film continues from there to slowly unfold the twist that leads to some great sequences.
I’d not seen Stevens in anything before, but I really liked him in this. He’s a strong lead and Maika Monroe does great along side him. The two play off each other very well. It’s clear there is tension between the two and it’s done rather subtly. Wingard builds the tension and adds some comedic moments that work to the plot. It’s definitely worth a watch.