30 January 2015

Friday Film: The Guest

HI!

I hope you had a fabulous week, how about a film to round it off? GREAT IDEA. 

Today's film is The Guest (2014). I'd heard good things about the film when it was doing the festival rounds and was very excited to see it. Unfortunately, as with all small films, it got a limited release and wasn't in my local cinema for longer than a week. Which was a nightmare. And that's where the internet comes in. YAY FOR THE INTERNET. 
 The film begins with the Peterson family who are struggling after the loss of their eldest son in Afghanistan. They are a family who are slowly falling apart, as individuals and as a unit. Enter David Collins (Dan Stevens) who claims to have been their son's close friend whilst in the army. He is handsome, warm, courteous, friendly and ever so slightly creepy. But in a good way? The family welcome him him wholeheartedly and he serves as a kind of plaster for the cracks that had been appearing in their home. Soon though, events begin to unfold and the eldest daughter, Anna (Maika Monroe), begins to question who David really is and what he's up to. And that's when it descends into bloody mayhem, both literally and figuratively speaking. AND IT'S ACE. 

It's not strictly an unusual plot. The 'stranger shows up, family welcomes them in, all hell breaks loose' plot line has been played out in numerous films, but there's something special about this one. I read somewhere that this is a film for film lover's, and you can definitely see an element of that in how the film is put together and directed. Everything about the film is carefully thought out; from the directing to the soundtrack, nothing is accidental, and there is a glorious element of the 80's thrillers and horrors in the music, set and sheen of the film. There is a definite element of John Carpenter lovin' going on! Directed by Adam Wingard, who also directed the ace You're Next, he skips neatly between thrills, action, horror and comedy. It's a difficult film to pin down in terms of genre, but it's certainly enjoyable trying to. This is a mysterious and atmospheric film that will draw you in until the end. And the end is when it gets batshit crazy. I know there are some people who haven't enjoyed the ending, simply because it is so off-kilter and ridiculous, but I actually really enjoyed it. For a film so difficult to pin down and so very tongue-in-cheek about it's origins (those wonderfully bad and amazing 80's films), it made sense to me that the end would come so out-of-nowhere. 
Special mention has to go to the cast and the soundtrack, not since Drive, have I enjoyed the use of music so much. It is bloody perfect. The cast is also perfect, particularly David and Anna. David is played with the perfect amount of mystery, menace and charm, for the longest time you'll be convinced that he is who he says and that it's a double whammy, just because he is so difficult to read. The whole thing is made even more unnerving when you remember that Dan Stevens used to be in Downtown Abbey. He's definitely changed! Anna, as the detective-type who needs to know the truth, is a strong, capable, clever woman, which is a bloody joy to see in a 'horror' film! Even though she fancies the shit out of him (and who wouldn't?!) she doesn't do the oh-so-frustrating thing of ignoring the fact that he's hella weird for the sake of a smooching session. She actually acts as a reasonable, logical human being, which is fab.
I honestly, don't have enough words to say how enjoyable this film is. It's funny, brutal, outrageous, creepy, intense, bloody and batshit crazy. You'll have no idea by the end who you want to win and possibly slightly confused at how attracted you are to a super weird stranger. If that sounds like something you'd enjoy, you'll love this! 
Alright, I'll leave it there for tonight. If you have any thoughts, leave them down below, or hit me up on my social media at the side. If you've seen the film, let me know what you made of it! Did you enjoy the ending, or did it leave you baffled? I hope you're all well, I will chat to you on Monday!

Be nice and be kind,
Becca xo

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