Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

The Guest

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The candles are lit. The wine is poured. Now, switch the cutlery for blades. The napkins for rope. The chairs for grenades, the meal for murder. Because David is coming to stay.

And he is one house guest you WON’T want to stick around…

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Cast

Dan Stevens – David Collins

Maika Monroe – Anna Peterson

Brendan Meyer – Luke Peterson

Sheila Kelley – Laura Peterson

Leland Orser – Spencer Peterson

Lance Reddick – CID agent

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“What’s Going On?!”

..was my continuous reaction throughout the entire movie. The Guest had me on the edge of my seat – not in the classic excitement way, but in a way that had me frowning at the screen as I desperately wanted to know what was going on, as well as why it was going on. I won’t lie – I was captivated the entire time by the plot, the cast, the twisted humour and of course, Dan Stevens himself who brought an incredibly stone-cold sexual feel to the production. Before going to see The Guest, I had not read up on it. I had read no synopsis outlining the plot at all – which was probably the best thing I could have done, because having such limited knowledge of the story which was about to unfold mean’t I was fully engaged with the movie at all times. I was gripped, entertained. And it got the currents of my brain flowing as I sat slightly confused, working out who was who and why they were doing what they were doing.

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I saw this move with a friend of mine, and actually kept turning to him – hand in the air as if trying to grasp an answer – and uttering things like, “I don’t get it” and “but what the hell is going on? What’s he done?”..

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Fantastic. Right there – that’s the type of reaction you want from a movie. If a movie can get me going, wondering, even vocalising – then does that not mean the producers hsve done good? I think so. I can only describe The Guest as mysterious; a feature that contains an incredibly simple plot but radiates an air of dark humour and sex appeal. This is one of those macabre pieces which is balanced nicely with dry humour, ultimately evoking ‘laughing-whilst-frowning’ reactions from its viewing audience.
During some scenes – mainly involving the grisly murder of certain characters – I found myself laughing along with other audience members, because of how the scenes were played out. The diner scene where David shoots someone is hilarious. He goes to leave, but then stops – turns round – sighs as if being asked to ‘stay behind after work’ – and as if carrying out a chore, unpins two hand grenades and effortlessly performs one last lazy act of terrorism. It was hilarious!

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This isn’t a film of seriousness that gives the audience a chance to get emotionally involved with the characters – there’s no time for that. It’s a film that showers the audience in dry black comedy and mystery, and going by the audience reactions in the cinema – manages to entertain superbly whilst doing so. I honestly wasn’t sure about going to see this movie. The poster made it look like a slick, sexy man protecting the young woman behind him as if acting the hero – being the guardian of her and her family. Very cliché, seen it all before.

..I never saw something like this before.
My idea of The Guest was nicely turned on its head, as director Adam Wingard brought a different, refreshing idea to the screen which had me constantly pondering throughout as I felt intrigued to know what was going on. Brilliant.

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Less is More

I can categorically state that Dan Stevens is sex. Human sex. Sex on legs.
Chiseled jaw line, big blue eyes, blond hair, slightly furry.
SEX.

..so he needs a bit more meat on him (I like a chunky boy – porn star Colby Jansen for example) but apart from that – he is the hunk of spunk gay porn directors dream of casting. Anyone else agree?

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Whether you agree or not, it’s not (amazingly) all about his looks. Actor Dan Stevens proves here that he can entertain. Proving that less really is more, Dan brings a character to the screen I found more fantastic the less he gave. Certain scenes were accelerated by 70% just because of the subtle closed-mouth smile he flashed at the character he was speaking to. And aggressive scenes where David was about to bludgeon someone to death or pull a fantastically slick shoot-em-up were performed so elegantly, due to the nature of his character; not many people could get away with announcing, “I’m going to kill you” in the manner this guy does. David goes about doing his murderous activities with a subtle smile, and sheer politeness – as if what he is doing is done with loyalty and respect. It’s hilarious. Imagine Bree from Desperate Housewives holding one of her elegant, posh dinner parties – but stood at the head of her dinner table wielding a gun at her guests with that classic, almost robotic polite expression on her face.

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Marcia Cross as Bree in Desperate Housewives

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That’s the kind of atmosphere you have here with David. His character is deliciously evil, but sugar-coated with such courteous loyalty that he comes across the complete opposite.

Dan brought a character to the screen who I loved, yet hated. He nailed it – he did good.

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Colourful

This movie pulsates with colour – from the scenery and set, to the costumes. During one scene, David attends a Halloween party with Anna. The whole scene is vibrant with colour – a bit which stands out is where David puffs on a cigarette very slowly, deep purple, yellow and other coloured lights flashing around him. The pumping music, rich colours and Dan’s gorgeous features turned up the sex levels big time. It was a very sexy scene – without any sex! I did wonder if the director had set this movie in the 70’s or 80’s because of the colourful set, etc. To sum it up, I would liken the atmosphere of this movie to that of Only God Forgives (Ryan Gosling). It’s one of those art-house style features that blends slick attitude and anguish with a dash of dark comedy.
Sinister, heartfelt, questionable.

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The Guest was a great ride.
Dark and murky, it doesn’t drag itself out with lengthy plot or dialogue – it’s a short story given to the audience in a perfect bitesize portion. It opens, the lead character is introduced, the action kicks off, it ends.
This movie is everything a ‘numb bum’ could want – ‘numb bum’ being one of those people who hate having to sit staring at a screen for a lengthy period – because of how entertaining it is in such a short time span.
Its winning quality has to be the deliciously sinister plot; events unfolding which had even me on the edge of my seat wondering what the fuck was going on. I’ll be honest – I was glued to the screen for the entire duration of The Guest, albeit frowning a lot. I had no idea what was going on, but I was loving every second.
What a strange piece of cinema.Brilliant.
And to quote one of the lead characters during the final few moments of the movie..

“..what the FUCK?!”

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This entry was posted on September 7, 2014 by .
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