The Guest (2014)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Guest</strong> (2014)

(On Cable TV, May 2015)  Writer/director duo Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard previously collaborated on You’re Next, a pure genre romp that showed that there’s still life in the home-invasion horror film as long as it’s competently made.  This intention seems just as strong here with The Guest, seemingly a throwback to the kind of B-movie from the eighties in which a stranger comes to town… bringing uncommon skills with him.  Dan Stevens is compelling as the mysterious young man with secrets of his own; he’s instantly credible in a fairly intense role far removed from his usual persona.  He’s the anchor of The Guest, and the film wouldn’t work if he didn’t nail his role as perfectly.  He creates the situations to which other characters react, and by the time we’re down to a third-act horror-house suspense sequence, the film has fulfilled its own goals perfectly. (Although you have to like films with a lengthy list of innocent victims in order to enjoy this one.)  Like You’re Next, The Guest is fast, cheap, self-aware and firmly in control: it’s a bit of a treat for thriller fans looking for well-made genre films. 

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