Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Guest (4 Stars)

Sometimes a trailer doesn't do a film justice. I had seen "The Guest" advertised whenever I went to the cinema over the last few weeks, and I thought I knew what the film was about, but I was wrong. In particular, I didn't know what genre the film belonged to until I got to the last half hour of the film. I don't want to give away too many spoilers, so I'll restrict myself to a brief review.

Caleb Petersen was an American soldier who never returned from action in the Middle East. His family reveres him as a hero, and they try to get on with their life as best as they can. Two years later a stranger knocks on the door. David Collins tells Caleb's mother that he was her son's best friend, and that he was with him when he died. He's invited to stay overnight, but the family like him so much that they ask him to stay longer. David seems to be the film's guardian angel, protecting Caleb's parents and siblings from harm, for instance by beating up the boys who bully Caleb's younger brother in school.

Of course, we can guess that the mysterious guest isn't all he seems to be. He has a dark side, which leads Caleb's sister Anna to investigate him. This much was obvious from the trailer. However, the trailer makes the film seem like a psychological thriller, whereas it's really a horror film. That's the closest to a spoiler that I'll get.

It's obvious that the film's writer and director want to make a sequel. Things are mentioned but not explained, telling us that we have to wait for the next film to get answers. There are other typical markers of horror films preparing us for the sequel.

Maika Monroe is beautiful as Caleb's sister Anna. I hope to see a lot more of her in "The Guest 2". And "The Guest 3".....

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