The Perfect Host

2011

The Perfect Host

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

45%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 33

55%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,123
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Movie Info

Warwick Wilson (David Hyde Pierce)is the consummate host. He carefully prepares for a dinner party, the table impeccably set and the duck perfectly timed for 8:30 p.m. John Taylor (Clayne Crawford) is a career criminal. He's just robbed a bank and needs to get off the streets. He finds himself on Warwick's doorstep posing as a friend of a friend, new to Los Angeles, who's been mugged and lost his luggage. As the wine flows and the evening progresses, we become deeply intertwined in the lives of these two men and discover just how deceiving appearances can be. The Perfect Host is a slippery psychological thriller that exposes true human nature and reveals just how far we're willing to go to satisfy our needs. -- (C) Magnolia

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Cast

David Hyde Pierce
as Warwick Wilson
Clayne Crawford
as John Taylor
Nathaniel Parker
as Detective Morton
Helen Reddy
as Cathy Knight
Megahn Perry
as Simone De Marchi
Joseph Will
as Detective Valdez
George Cheung
as Storekeeper
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Critic Reviews for The Perfect Host

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (18)

Audience Reviews for The Perfect Host

  • Mar 06, 2015
    Niles how you never wanted to see him! Okay, so I realise the character wasn't actually David Hyde Pierce's Frasier alter ego - but for sure there were similarities. The bit with him compulsively scrubbing the blood off the floor gave me quite a laugh. On the surface he plays a sophisticated, wine drinking, mild mannered single man who likes to host dinner parties. But all is not as it seems as one young criminal discovers when he chooses the wrong man to scam. This is nowhere near as gory as you might expect, and actually it's pretty tame by the end, but I did like it, and it was an original idea. David Hyde Pierce does pull this character off disturbingly well.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 05, 2012
    "The Perfect Host" starts with John Taylor(Clayne Crawford) making a not so swift getaway with a wounded foot. Being witness to a convenience store robbery only helps the police identify his whereabouts. Desperately needing to lay low for a while, he bluffs his way into Warwick's(David Hyde Pierce) house while he is setting up for a dinner party. "The Perfect Host" gets off to a promising start with the robbery being emblematic of a truly bad day.("Paper or plastic?") However, the movie disastrously veers off track with its game playing, just as suspense may be building and information revealed about the various characters.(For the record, it is always hard to know how much to care about a character when there is so little known about him.) Going forward, the movie zigs where it should zag and gets perilously close the edge, becoming almost too implausible for words. And it would have been much creepier if John had been drugged/tied up at an actual dinner party. However, David Hyde Pierce does have some nice dance moves.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 01, 2012
    This is a weird movie. I don't mean weird in the way those surreal fantasy films I seem to love are weird, or in the way half the stuff coming out of Japan is weird. I mean weird in that it's just...well, odd. Is it a comedy? Is it a thriller? Is it horror? What the hell is this thing? I'm not really sure. The premise is simple enough. John Taylor (Clayne Crawford) is a fugitive on the run, for reasons that are explained during the course of the film. Trying to find a place to lay low, he ends up at the home of Warwick Wilson (David Hyde Pierce), claiming to have a mutual friend. Warwick is a gracious host, concerned only that this uninvited guest might disrupt his dinner party. Eventually, John's identity is revealed to Warwick, and that's where things start to get odd. The less you know about the plot of this movie the more enjoyment you'll get from it. Even the trailer, while still spoiling some surprises, manages to hide the more sinister elements of the film. The story is strange and unpredictable, but it also has some flaws that I could not ignore. This is what I like to call a "sandwich movie." A sandwich movie can be one of two things: a film with a strong beginning and ending but a poor middle; or a film with a poor beginning and ending, but a strong middle. The Perfect Host is the latter of the two. Until John arrives at Warwick's home, the film feels sluggish. There are several scenes that go on for far too long and serve little to no purpose, with meandering (and sometimes self-indulgent) dialogue. There is for example a scene where John goes into a convenience store to get cleaning supplies for his bleeding foot. The function of this scene only serves to show that the security cameras saw John exit, and he was unsuccessful in getting the supplies. This could have been done in under a minute, but it takes over 5 minutes to get through, and feels entirely unnecessary and little more than padding for the films short 90 minute runtime. Then there's the ending, and that's where things really fell apart for me. The focus of the film shifts at the end, and adds in plot twists that were not only unnecessary, but wholly uninteresting. This is where the film starts to explore why John was on the run, and frankly I simply didn't care. The reasons why and how John ended up at Warwick's house were not important details, and should never have been the focus. However, the time that John spends in Warwick's house; that is where the film shines. If I had to give this film a genre classification, I would call it a classy thriller. Most thrillers go for gritty, dirty, and sometimes downright unpleasant. This film tries to be upscale and classy, while still having the undeniable marks of a thriller. Even when horrible and disturbing things are happening on screen, they are displayed with grace and civility, often accompanied by classical music in the background. It's delightfully bizarre, and wildly original, and made the whole experience entirely unpredictable. The success of the film is in no small part due to the performance by David Hyde Pierce. I haven't seen too much of Hyde Pierce's career (I could never really get interested in Fraiser), but I can still say this is a very new direction for him. Whenever he is on screen, he demands your attention, and it's no big shock that the films poorest moments are those where he is absent. Where the pacing and writing of the film falter, he manages to shine and save the whole production. He completely loses himself in the complex and often outright confusing character of Warwick. This isn't a great film, and oftentimes it's not even a good film. But when it is good, it's really good. I really wish this film had been better than the product we ended up with, but that doesn't mean it's not an original, unpredictable, and strangely enjoyable product that is worthy of your attention. If you're a fan of Hyde Pierce, or you just want to try something different, then it's worth your attention. Highlights Directed by: Nick Tomnay Screenplay by: Nick Tomnay, Krishna Jones Starring: David Hyde Pierce, Clayne Crawford Pros: An almost award worthy performance from Hyde Pierce Cons: A beginning that feels sluggish and an ending that feels unnecessary Rated: R for multiple f-bombs, some sexual references, and several scenes of blood, terror, and torture Should You See it?: It's not a perfect film, but it's worth checking out for its originality and wonderful lead performance
    Michael M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 11, 2012
    This movie lacked direction towards the end. But definitely worth the watch. David Hyde Pierce was nothing short of amazing. Very likable host. Warwick Wilson: Is everyone not enjoying themselves? John Taylor: [tied to a chair, in an empty room] I can't speak for everyone here, but I'm having a great time.
    Sam R Super Reviewer

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