Guest, The: Thrilling, Violent Genre Picture

the_guest_posterA tense actioner, “The Guest” boasts a strong and smart performance from Dan Stevens, still best known for the TV series “Downtown Abbey.”

The skillful director Adam Wingard, who made an impression with “You’re Next” and other pictures, has made a genuinely suspenseful and scary film, based on a workable scenario by Simon Barrett.

As has become the norm these days, the tale is a hybrid (but not a mishmash), combining effectively the conventions of several genres: thrillers, horror, actioners, sci-fi, even conspiracy.

Ultra-violent (even gory), the canny script is full of twists and turns, which keep you at the edge of your seat, trying guess, for example, if the central character is bad or good.



the_guest_5It’s a familiar genre picture, all right, and a trashy one at that, but “The Guest” offers such thrills and Stevens renders such a badass performance that you go for the ride from first frame to last.

In its attention to plot as well as character, “The Guest” recalls thrillers and actioners of the 1970s by the likes of John Carpenter and other directors, who could not then—and did not want to, even if they could—rely on special effects violence.

A movie star is born: The handsome and capable Dan Stevens can also be seen this weekend in the Liam Neeson thriller, “A Walk Among the Tombstones.”


Running time: 97 minutes.

Directed by Adam Wingard

Written by  Simon Barrett