"It’s a movie with a great synth score; it’s dark, moody and all kinds of awesome"
I don’t wish to go into the plot of The Guest in too much detail because, frankly, I don’t want to ruin the experience for first-timers. In brief, it revolves around a soldier (Dan Stevens) who returns from service and turns up at his fallen comrade’s family home in Midwestern America. He’s gradually accepted into the family’s grieving arms, but it ain’t all as innocent as it seems.
The Guest is a film that works as well as it does because the filmmakers know exactly what they’re doing. Besides indulging in a thought-provoking Goddard, an intricate P.T. Anderson, or an explosive Michael Ba, I also enjoy a good, simple thriller that offers a nod to the thrillers of the 80s, such as Escape From New York and, well, pretty much anything else directed by John Carpenter at that time.
This evident a great genre flick. It has a simple yet effective idea, not dissimilar to a western in its delivery, whereby a stranger comes to town. But what I really like is the generated atmosphere. Sure, there’s a fair amount of chaos, but the full-throttle stuff really comes at the end. The majority film takes its time, but that’s not to say it lingers; we do see a grown adult wail on a bunch teenagers in a bar, but the main thrust in the story is seeing the way our main character (portrayed by Stevens) infiltrates this family and the various ways he presents himself to each family member.
It’s a movie with a great synth score; it’s dark, moody and all kinds of awesome. It really does add to the retro feel, however, the film never steps over into pastiche.
Overall, the acting is of a good standard. Dan Stevens does his job, but I never cared for Downtown Abbey so I’m in no place to gush over how ‘surprising his turn in this film is’. The standout, for me, is Maika Monroe, who is quickly making a name for herself on the indie scene with this and It Follows. She’s the heart of the film, and accommodates as the audience’s eye into this world. She plays a character that could come off annoying, but instead is endearing.