Tuesday, 29 December 2015
The Guest (4 Stars)
Is the guest really here to help, as the poster says? If that were the case it would be a boring film. When he arrives it seems like he's come to help, but I'm sure that even viewers who didn't watch the trailer can guess that he isn't as benevolent as he pretends to be.
Maybe "pretends" is the wrong word. David Collins really is benevolent when he arrives at the Petersen household to give them a message from their dead son Caleb. He sees it as his duty to Caleb, his best friend in the armed forces, to look after the family. The trouble is that his main priority is self-preservation. When the teenage daughter Anna begins to find out his secrets he does whatever he can to prevent her succeeding.
Questions are left open in the film. It's obvious that this is deliberate, in order to prepare for a sequel, but the film wasn't successful enough to justify a sequel. That's a shame. Dan Stevens is marvellous as the mysterious guest, fully convincing whether he's being friendly or violent. His charm wins over both the family and the viewers.
An important part of the film is the soundtrack. From beginning to end it features amazing electronic music from the 1980's and 1990's, in particular songs by DAF and Front 242. It was difficult for me not to sit tapping my feet while I was watching the film.