The Guest Reviews
My belief in myself as a decent judge of film is completely gone as from start to finish I perceived this film to be terrible.
There is no character development whatsoever, the "protagonists" of the film being the brother and sister literally never exchange dialogue throughout the whole film yet are supposed to have a fairy tale ending together as the loving remnants of a family.
This family has some serious issues, within 2 minutes of the film David was admitted to a couple of days stay in this household, meanwhile I don't know who anyone is.
Sure the "tough guy beating up people who are mean [to kids]" act was cool, it was great to see an attractive guy who can fight, really never been done before.
There is an attempt at a plot twist, it falls on its face. Then the process of switching protagonists and antagonists around are confusing and straight up dreadful, especially with the "cliffhanger" "shocking" "dubble you tee eff" ending which was thrown in.
I get this was fairly low budget, but considering that, there is still nothing in this movie. I walked in expecting a brainless action film, except I got a brainless... some action... non-film.
I need some enlightenment because I missed a huge upside to this movie, like a 4.5 star rating upside, because I rate this 1/10.
From the very beginning, you feel as though you're watching an unconventional film. Even though the simple premise of a visitor being welcomed into a home, only to not be what he seems is a little been-there-done-that, The Guest flips this concept on its head, keeping you engaged from start to finish. The premise really is that simple too, making you get comfortable with David and all that his character stands for, only to pull the rug out from under you throughout the third act. This is a light-hearted film that very quickly spirals into a dark, genre-bending picture by the time the third act hits. The Guest is a movie that isn't afraid to mess with your mind.
The biggest takeaway when watching this movie, is the fact that David plays off each and every one of the characters as if he truly has a working/growing relationship with them. Making them believe things and becoming very close to them, you really feel for certain characters when they reach a certain fate. I truly found myself in awe by the turns this film takes and how brutal it becomes when characters betray one another. Although you're very much invested in Dan Stevens' performance as David, the film pretty much makes the secondary cast the flies on the wall, trying to uncover his secrets, just as you as an audience member are. By the time the third act hits, you realize why this film has demanded your attention.
Most films sputter out and lose gas by the time their climax hits, usually being the weakest portion of the film, but The Guest is definitely an exception to that notion. From awesome chase sequences, to fantastic action, to character arcs that will have you applauding, to the visceral no-holds-barred attempt to make your jaw drop, this is a film that holds nothing back. The vivid colours, along with the pulse-pounding soundtrack/score throughout this finale are the true stars, immersing you in this world. If you find yourself becoming attached to any of these characters throughout the course of the movie, I can guarantee that you'll be emotionally charged throughout this act.
In short, The Guest is a film that goes from hardcore drama, to mystery flick, to all-out action, to some absolutely jaw-dropping moments. Never issuing itself a dull moment, keeping the pace just right, the sheer atmosphere that this film creates is eerie and powerful. I never once found myself checking the time while watching this movie. This is the way to make a film. On a very low budget, with an incredibly devoted cast, having some very memorable music to help progress its story, and direction that is out of this world, The Guest is not a film to be missed. Sadly, it has been over the years and I can't recommend it enough. It does showcase some violent imagery and I would only recommend it to very mature audiences, but this is one of the most impressive pieces of cinema throughout this decade so far. This is just my opinion, but I absolutely love every second of this movie. The ending will most definitely bother some viewers, but that's the beauty of film, right?
The Guest is about a discharged soldier who visits the family of his dead friend. The family then invites the soldier to stay with them for a while but surprise surprise, he's a psychopath.
Quickly, let me mention a few things I liked. Dan Stevens, who plays the soldier, has an awesome crazy face. It's not always used at the right time but that man can go from charming to menacing real quick. I also like some of the songs... though they weren't always used effectively and the score had a mix of odd and obvious choices. Some of the performances were pretty good at times.
Now the parts I didn't like.
The movie overall is kinda dumb and cliche. It's suppose to be funny and self aware but neither I nor those watching it with me laughed. Other than a few moments in the first and second act, I was not having any fun and the film completely lost me in the third act when the government agents showed up for some very poorly executed action. The whole movie is clumsily directed and edited.
The rogue killer from a government experiment trope is so cliche that I hoped for the film to subvert it with some kind of twist. My hope was in vain.
The characters are also really dumb. Why are people not creeped out by his obvious creeper face and strange silences and speech patterns? Why does he stare into space looking all evil when people leave the room? Why does an escaped super soldier stay in one place after using his real name? Why does he kill so many people while staying in one place and using his real name? Why does he crash his car into the father's car? Why does the movie end with the daughter recognizing him in a firefighter's suit in the middle of the crime scene? Does the film want us to think he got away? Isn't he injured, surrounded by police, and recognized by the daughter?
Why do so many people love this film?
At the end of the day, I will add this to the list of highly praised media that I just cannot connect with. Along with Blade Runner, Master of None, Okja, the Netflix Voltron and Kendrick Lamar.