The Guest ***

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“The Guest” is a bizarre action thriller that is shot with great style and over the top violence. I was not really expecting such a mix up of different genres. The previews suggest a more serious and focused movie. The director is Adam Wingard who also directed “You’re Next” which was loved by almost everyone but myself apparently. I actually enjoyed this film a lot more mostly because of how silly it is.

The plot involves a mysterious war veteran named David played by Dan Stevens. He shows up at the house of the Peterson family claiming that he was with their son who died in the Iraq war. They were in the same unit together. He has a photo of them together during the conflict. Not all is what it seems but the grieving family welcomes him in anyway. Right away David proves he has a darker side when he brutally beats up the boys who are bullying the Peterson son as well as nearly kills the man who is the ex boyfriend of the daughter. Why he has turned up and where the film goes I will leave for you to discover as one of the pleasures is the rather inspired plot twists.

What I responded to the most was the style and the electifying soundtrack chosen by the makers that really gave this film a retro feel. A lot of the movie is shot at night, sometimes with neon lights and always played out with the back drop of synthpop and new wave music. I almost got a sort of Michael Mann vibe at some points.

The actors all do a great job here. I esspecially liked Dan Stevens as David. He is a guy who I want to see more of in movies. He most recently co-starred in “A Walk Among The Tombstones” with Liam Neeson. He can play a nice guy with an edge or a darkness to him. He also looks like he can handle his own in action scenes.

“The Guest” is not for everyone. Like I said I was not expecting it to be such a goofy movie. It is fun and it sound great though.

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