The Guest Movie Review
It’s a amazing how a very simple movie manages to get very cliched and kind of stupid
The Guest is directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett the same directing/writing team behind You’re Next. This movie follows a family who takes in a discharged soldier named David (Dan Stevens). He knew their deceased son during the war in Afghanistan and is allowed to stay as a house guest. However their daughter Anna (Maika Monroe) is not welcome to the idea of David staying with them and soon finds out that there is something more to him then has been told.
This movie really had a great first act. David comes in as someone with this mysterious past, but he seems like a good man. Dan Stevens also gives a good performance and convinces you that he is a nice guy. He certainly is helping the family and it seems like a regular drama action movie. Then the movie takes this 90 degree turn when we find out the truth about David. At that point, any appreciation I had for the movie dies and just turns into everything that the Sundance Film Festival would frown upon. This movie originally premiered at this year’s Sundance Festival and from most of the movies they showcase, they seem to go for something artsy, independent and out of the ordinary. Granted this isn’t a small budget Hollywood release, but it sure feels like it near the end. The last half of the movie gives the audience a bullshit explanation on who David actually is. I don’t want to give away what it is, but I’ll just say that for a movie that is trying feel realistic, it felt very inorganic and something that you would see in a science fiction movie or a Marvel movie. He suddenly goes on a killing spree across the entire town, killing those who befriended him as well as random people he’s never met for no reason. It also never explains why he turns on those who befriended him. The last act of the movie suddenly becomes a mix between John Carpenter’s Halloween and James Cameron’s The Terminator. There’s nothing wrong with a movie that borrows from other movies, unless I’m clearly reminded of those other movies. At a Q&A, the director even listed Halloween and The Terminator as his biggest influences for this movie. The biggest problem I had with this movie was the very end. I won’t say what exactly, but since some of the movie reminded me of Halloween the ending was something straight out of a slasher movie. It was something that was so predictable, cliche, and insulting that it ruined the entire movie for me.
That being said, up until that ending the movie does have some good qualities. Like I said I did like the first act. It does hint at who David actually is and it good at maintaining it up until the horrible explanation. All of the actors do a good job, especially Maika Monroe as Anna. Even when the movie becomes stupid, she still gives it her all. The movie is also very violent and that is something that I can commend it for. It’s never afraid to be as violent as possible and it takes full advantage of the sound department. You hear bones breaking in very gruesome ways, making the audience feel like there are consequences.
This is one of those unfortunate examples of a movie that starts out with a lot of promise, before stumbling into an ending that ruins the whole movie. However the movie is not really bad until it reaches the explanation as to who David actually is. It has some great action scenes and the acting is good, but the second half and the film’s ending ruined the big picture.
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