Written By: JM
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Adam Wingard
Screenwriter: Simon Barrett
Producer: Jessica Calder, Keith Calder
Date Released: January 17, 2014
Dan Stevens as David Collins
Maika Monroe as Anna Peterson
Brendan Meyer as Luke Peterson
Sheila Kelley as Laura Peterson
Leland Orser as Spencer Peterson
Lance Reddick as Major Richard Carver
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
David, a soldier who had just returned to America from his last tour, knocks on the door of the Peterson family and introduces himself as a good friend of their son Caleb, who died in combat. Before Caleb died, David promised Caleb that he would take care of his family. Caleb’s mother welcomes David warmly and lets him stay in their house for as long as he needs. However, the longer David stays with the Petersons, the more he shows signs that not only is he possibly unstable, but he may also be someone else entirely. When a body count starts piling up around the Petersons, it’s up to Anna, Caleb’s only sister, to investigate who their house guest really is and what his connection is to these violent murders.
The violence here is quite intense because it is executed in the same manner as an action film. There are two notable scenes of violence among others throughout the film. One is a brutal bar fight that happens so quick and violently that it takes a while for it to sink in. Another is a big shootout with an enjoyable amount of headshots, chests exploding open, and blood splattering everywhere.
The Grave Review
David would not have worked as the film’s antagonist had he not been played by someone with the looks and demeanor of Dan Stevens. Steven’s character, David is handsome, clean-cut, and has a warm smile who not only would be someone a girl could proudly bring home to meet her parents but also the kind of guy that other guys would like to grab a beer with. This is why when David starts showing just how terrifying he can really be, the level of fear is heightened.
What is nice about this film is that it brings back the old thrills from those 1980s slasher films. When you are watching this film, you are afraid for the life of the killer’s targets but also simultaneously curious about how they’re going to be killed. Beyond the charismatic, clean-cut guy, David is a scary villain that preys on and haunts those that are ultimately weaker than he is. But, it is for the viewer to find out whether David will get away with his misdeeds.
The best moments of The Guest (2014) happen in the last third of the film. The first two-thirds is dedicated to establishing the dynamics of the Peterson family, as well as giving subtle hints as to why David may be someone we couldn’t trust. The film overall is not boring, but once you’ve seen the violent bar-fight scene, you will already be at the edge of your seat waiting for the next surprise. But, the explosive scenes at the end of the film are worth the wait because that is where most of the wild violence occurs.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Guest (2014) three graves out of five graves.
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