The Caretaker (The Guest) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Caretaker (The Guest) Reviews

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½ September 22, 2015
Not as powerfully tense as the play, but still has a handful of real striking moments/monologues. All of the performances really carry the film, an adaptation that easily could have fallen into stagnation otherwise considering it all takes place in just one room. Roeg does a great job of making you feel like you need to duck your head just watching this film, it feels so cramped. Donald Pleasence and Alan Bates are the real standouts, Robert Shaw really delivers where it counts but I found him to be overall a bit spottier. All in all, one of the more effective stage to film adaptations.
September 24, 2009
Spot on performances (Bates standard) definitely do the dialogue justice and mixed with the sparse setting deliver an amusing and menacing piece with a dark undertone of menace most horrors struggle to achieve.
½ June 5, 2009
One of the greatest cinematic experiences atleast in terms of acting
April 9, 2009
Scores massively in performance this one with Pleasence as good as I've ever seen him. Shaw gives a disconcerting stone coldness and if you weren't uncomfortable enough, Bates chimes in with his huge contradictions.

This film is a brooding slice of life drama that feels very 60's. Unusually however it doesn't feel that dated which is testament to the ideas running through the intense Pinter script. Some wonderful metaphors for the lethargy of life, failed dreams and the power struggle between ordinary people. Where it fails in my opinion is the pace. The writer has slashed the play and the director has failed to fill the gaps sufficiently in the visual - especially when we are in the house. The edit feels a bit drab as a result. Drabness is part of the plan for sure, but that is conveyed in the setting and the grimy black and white. I felt it needlessly resorted to an unflinching slowness.
March 8, 2009
Most enjoyable. Donald Pleasence gives a great performance as the tramp taken in by Robert Shaw's character (a man who's undergone shock therapy). His brother, Alan Bates, is rather unstable. I think this film is about "pipe dreams".
August 20, 2008
The play doesn't grow at all on film. In fact the camerawork and editing at times works against the terrific script and character relations. Bates also feels a bit fake in comparison to the passion of Pleasence and commitment and intensity of Robert Shaw.
½ July 29, 2008
Eerily not dated and full of potent menace, this faithful film version of Harold Pinter's play still captivates. Shorn of the spoilt brat hectoring of your John Osborne's 'Angry Young Man', Pinter's play captures perfectly the frustrated aspirations and claustrophobic paranoia of those forced to the fringes of society and the bottom of the economic pile. However, there's something more universal going on here that stops it from being 60s agitprop. A dark Beckettian influence pervades this still yet fraught work, with a innate violence replacing the exasperated absurdity of something like "Waiting for Godot". All three cast members here are excellent: Donald Pleasance, Robert Shaw and Alan Bates. An ensemble piece that possesses an honest simpatico between the minute cast, it would be criminal to pick one performance over another. Superficially slow but innately compelling, "The Caretaker" is a timeless (in all senses of the word) classic.
½ March 13, 2008
A great example of character study. This film is an adaptation of the Harold Pinter play and focuses mainly on dialouge as the whole film basically takes place in one room. The three characters each show off great acting skills. If your into action this may not be for you but if you like great acting and monolouges then you be sure to enjoy The Caretaker.
littlecharmer1959
Super Reviewer
½ March 13, 2008
A great example of character study. This film is an adaptation of the Harold Pinter play and focuses mainly on dialouge as the whole film basically takes place in one room. The three characters each show off great acting skills. If your into action this may not be for you but if you like great acting and monolouges then you be sure to enjoy The Caretaker.
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