The Guest  (2014)    51/100

Rating :   51/100                                                                       99 Min        15

From director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett, the creative team behind ‘You’re Next‘, this opens really strongly as ‘David’ (Dan Stevens) appears at the Peterson residence telling them that, as his buddy in the army, he promised their son who died in the Middle East that he would come to his home to deliver his dying words. There appears to be an initial joke in the direction of ‘The Lucky One’ (12) which lets us know there will be a strong undertow of comedy running throughout and sure enough he is invited to stay for a while as a welcome guest, whilst the detractors of the family in the town soon find themselves on the receiving end of a rather pissed off army vet, with one especially great scene involving the local bullies at a bar as David orders the girls in their company shots, and Cosmopolitans for their male counterparts ….

The pace, style and music of this section are all great, and with the right audience it’ll be a lot of fun (I was the only one laughing at various points, infidels) but as soon as the plot brings into focus the daughter of the family (Maika Monroe) things start to unravel and never really stop, largely because she attempts to question the motives and sincerity of the mysterious stranger, taking the story on a different path where it is much more difficult to keep the black humour working as well, and ultimately it falls almost completely flat. The acting is good from all (Leland Orser appears as the father of the Peterson family and does a reasonably good job of persuading us he isn’t the guy who fucked the prostitute in Seven (95) with a balded dildo, but HE WILL ALWAYS BE THE GUY WHO FUCKED THE PROSTITUTE IN SEVEN WITH THE BLADED DILDO) but it’s a major disappointment given the film’s early promise, although Wingard and Barrett are definitely a pair of collaborative filmmakers worth keeping an eye on for future projects.

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