Friday, September 18, 2015

Weekly schlock and an awesome throwback feel!

The Peterson family has lost their son, Caleb, in some sort of military activity. Along comes David a member of the same squad as Caleb. He is popping in to check on the family as last request from his buddy/ their son.

David is quite, friendly, mild mannered, reserved but also has an intensity about him. The Peterson family quickly befriends him and everything looks to be on the up and up. David helps the son ,Luke, deal with his bullies. He woos the friends of the daughter, Anna. He helps the mom, Laura, with hose hold chores. He also becomes the drinking buddy of the father. He is an all-around pretty awesome dude and a beef cake too boot!  Well, that is until we learn that David more than just a quite friendly lost soul. He is an uber level bad ass and possibly a bit insane.

You see, some people get killed that are friends of Anna. Her dad’s boss also dies tragically too. Anna then has to go all Scooby Doo and try to figure out this David guy, as she thinks he is involved somehow. This is where the film goes from possible creep-o stalker to full on next Jason Bourne psycho. David, with his identity known to Anna and her family, goes all scorched Earth on the Petersons and anyone else around them. The really question is who survives his bloody onslaught?

I had no idea what to expect when I watched this. I still am not sure why I did. I do know that I am glad I did give it a chance. It was stupid fun!
Charmer: Dan's character claims to be a friend of the Peterson family's deceased son and is invited into their home
Back from the war and all the guy wants to do is show proper pumpkin carving technique.

He is even polite enough to teach some locals proper billiards etiquette.

David (Dan Stevens whoever the hell he is) is a fantastic villain! You never really hate him, because he is just so damn charming. Even when he loses his cool he doesn’t. He becomes very intense and then just switches back to charming and calm. Some of the best parts of this movie are watching David’s subtle facial reactions to the events unfolding at the end. The quick look of exasperation when dealing with another threat or person. It makes it seem like he doesn’t really want to go kill crazy, but he has too. Then back to stone calm. It makes for some good dark comedy in the midst of horrible events. It made it difficult to dislike his character, and I didn’t. Then again I tend to root for the bad guy in these films as they are usually more fun than the victims.
the guest whysoblu 6
This dude even will help with the laundry!

I have read some other reviews and people feel this is a modern day 80’s thriller or quasi-slasher. I get that. Why?

Well the music for starters. There is a lot of synthpop (or technopop) in this film and it is a delight! The heavy use of this for the soundtrack and score give the film an 80s-ish feel.

Then there is the whole unemotional stalking killer that was so prevalent in 80’s horror, action and sci-fi. This is exactly what David is when he goes all killy. He never loses his composure when he goes ultra-violent. David just keeps a calm demeanor the entire time.

Best sequence of the film!
The plot feels throwback. A mysterious dude shows up and he isn’t what/who he says he is. Even the reasoning behind why David is reacting all violent and why people are after him is simple. It is really vague but gives enough information to placate and keep the story rolling. Another very 80’s trope. Why is the killer so killy? Well because of: science, war, family trauma, just plain cray, drugs, chemicals etc. It feels very much like that in this movie as well.

Hell, even he ending is typical 80’s thrill kill movie. You can see it coming miles away and it is still fulfilling. So yeah, one can see why people compare this to that era of movies.

What The Guest lacks in real substance it makes up for in fun. It is great mindless entertainment with a  villain you kind of really like, an 80’s thriller feel, style, sound and a paint by numbers plot. 

Damn this was fun!

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