Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The Guest - review

I had never seen Dan Stevens in anything before. Not even his most famous role as a member of the Abbey which just shows that I am not Downton with the kids.

I imagine however that it will be difficult to avoid him over the next few years as his role (and pitch-perfect American accent) in The Guest is likely to propel him to stardom and certainly get offered all the roles that Ryan Gosling would get before his break from acting.

The Guest, with its plot of a soldier who returns from a mission to check on and help the family of a fallen comrade but might not be everything he seems has the makings of a modern take on the 80's genre movies but to say which genres would be spoiling the fun as the film veers off into completely unexpected (but entirely welcome) directions.

There are hints along the way (the opening title font, the synth score, the mention of a location that will ultimately serve as the host for its demented climax) but what sells it is Stevens' ice-cold but charming performance that puts the audience on his side and has it rooting for him all the way, even if he may not be exactly what he says he is.

It might not find its ideal audience at the cinema but this is a Grindhouse-classic in the making that will become a very welcome house Guest on DVD in years to come.

5 stars

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