The Guest (2014)

‘The Guest’ started out promisingly, it set the tone of the film perfectly and Dan Stevens’ acting was brilliant. The film built up tension around the mysterious David and didn’t rush into anything so when we got our first glimpse of who David really was, in the bar scene, it felt like a sense of relief. Let me get this out of the way, the bar scene was absolutely phenomenal in my eyes, there was a perfect combination of grit and elegance.

Everything about that bar scene was pitch perfect, the acting was top-notch, the dialogue was simple yet brilliant, the choreography was brutal yet believable, the editing absolutely blew me away. Some moments in that scene with the quick cuts combined with the choice of the sound mixing, it was something out of my dreams. Before this scene I was compelled, during this scene, this film looked like it could become one of my favourite films ever.

Unfortunately, that was not the case as the film after that, took a turn for the worse, unveiling more of David’s true personality, and eventually leading to something utterly ridiculous. I would have been far happier if the entire film was like the first act in that it built the characters up, left the audience wondering about David and then have the bar scene be the final scene of the film. If that had happened, ‘The Guest’ would no doubt become one of my favourite films ever.

The bar scene truly is the pivotal point of the film, both from a character perspective and from a quality perspective. It truly feels like up to the bar scene, that was the film the writer wanted to make, but the studio forced him to extend his script and it definitely shows.

The first part of this film is filled with crisp, believable dialogue and then bang, as soon as the bar scene is over the dialogue turns into a bad B-Movie script.

The directing, for the most part, is superb, brilliant shots, with some interesting camera angles scattered throughout. The use of colour though especially, is fantastic and that, combined with the soundtrack, gives the film a very 80’s vibe, not too dissimilar to ‘Drive’.

The film would be amazing if it had just ended at the bar scene, but obviously that wasn’t feasible so I can wholeheartedly give my recommendation for the film, but after the bar scene, unless you are enamored with Dan Stevens’ performance, I can promise you that you won’t miss anything.

6/10

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