The Guest (2014) - This generation's The Stepfather
PLOT - A young solider on leave shows up on the doorstep of a small Arizona family claiming to be a friend of their son who died a few months earlier in action. Being welcomed into the home, instantly he seems to be exactly what each family me member has needed. He's handsome, helpful, and mysterious. It isn't long before a series of accidental deaths begin happening around town, stirling up the interest of the family's teenage daughter who seems to be the only one who isn't fooled by this stranger's charm.
LOWDOWN - I'm spending my morning with a dog by my feet, a coffee in my hand, and watching one of my favorite releases from last year on Netflix.
(amazing artwork by Travis Falligant)
From the same people who brought us You're Next, one of the best releases in my eyes in 2013, let alone in years, decided not to do the typical next step in making another horror movie. Instead they made a psychological thriller that had such an amazing concept, it instantly reminded me of one of my all time favorite thrillers The Stepfather made in 1987. In fact that got my interest going about this movie was the fact that months before it's release the writer started in an interview that he got the idea of this movie after actually watching the original Stepfather, and always loved how in that movie the teenage daughter was smarter than the actual adults, knowing right off the bat something wasn't right and doesn't completely trust the new stranger that has entered their life. After months and months of waiting, the film had a very brief release before it came out on blu-ray and DVD. This was the first blind buy I did in years, and decided to say screw it and bought it one very cold afternoon this winter.
Best blind buy I could have done.
The two biggest things I loved about this movie were the soundtrack. As of lately I think lots of people are seriously coming to the simple fact that synth Carpenter like music from the late 70's and 1980's were the best kind of music to have in a movie. A portion of this kind of music was heard in You're Next, and really seemed to take on it's own. Even the songs they picked (mostly in the high school's haunted house scene) were great. The second of course is Mr. Dan Stevens. I haven't ever seen anything this guy did before but really gotta hand it to him. He captured the character of David perfectly. He was handsome, mysterious, and reminded me of the T-1000 with his hawk like glare, and simple mannerisms. A psychopath, yet Southern gentlemen. Loved it. In fact, going into this movie knowing nothing about it I was completely on the edge of my seat wondering what this guy was going to do next. What would set him off, and how the entire time he kept his cool. I never laughed so hard whenever he entered the restaurant with (SPOILER) the grenades. This was a character I would have loved watching more and I even think they could have taken this character a few steps further. Still settle was the way to go, and David has quickly become one of my all time favorite villains. Why? Because he doesn't even act like one. The entire time I watched him, I could see a cooler, younger, more handsome Terry O'Quinn. In fact this was the way they should have taken that God awful Stepfather remake.
My only complaint was the final act. The big twist and reveal was so-so after so much build up, and the entire final scene as beautifully as it was filmed, it just seemed rushed and a little sloppy. I did like the little nods (SPOILERS) of David going to get plastic surgery, as well as changing his dental records. Um, sequels anyone? If they do go ahead with anymore movies, which the ending was pretty much left open for one, I hope if Stevens doesn't return they will cast an actor with enough presence as he had. I mean the entire scene with him and Joel David Moore, and Ethan Embry was amazing. Even tho, I think more movies would ruin it, who knows maybe a sequel could pull a Stepfather II. Enjoyable, still really good, but in it's own way. I just feel a stronger ending would have made this movie complete and utter perfection.
So I highly recommend this movie to anybody. If this is a sign of what's to come. I think it's safe to say we're in good hands.