Liz: 3.3 out of 5 stars

It was Omar’s turn to pick a movie and he decided on The Guest (on US Netflix), directed by Adam Wingard and starring Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey fame, my heart still hurts for you), Maika Monroe (from It Follows!!), Brendan Meyer and Lance Reddick.

theguestQuick Liz summary: A mysterious, overly polite man named David Collins (Stevens) shows up on the doorstep of the Peterson family, claiming that he had served in the Army alongside their recently deceased son Caleb. The family invites him in and has him stay with them for awhile (sketch already) and as the movie progresses, the family begins to realize that there is more to him (intentionally vague) than meets the eye.

Let me just start off by saying that I would have given this movie 5 out of 5 stars if the only thing that mattered to me was the atmosphere and ambiance (to quote Marshawn Lynch). The colors of the movie alone were great and the music/soundtrack was incredible. First, the movie starts off with “THE GUEST” written out huge in blue across the screen, and its presentation (thanks to the accompanying music) made me think instantly of how Insidious starts off. This movie reminded me so much of Drive (one of those movies that Omar really fanboys about), Only God Forgives, and John Wick. There were many scenes that showcased this beautifully, but especially the final big showdown scene in the Halloween maze,which was soooo similar to the shootout scene in the club in John Wick.  Another good scene was the Halloween party at Kristen’s house. Thinking about this scene, however, brings up a problem I had with the movie.

The “coolness” or mysterious part of David Collins was a bit over-the-top for me. At the Halloween party, there are two parts (him carrying two kegs without breaking a sweat and then when he smokes), amongst others, that SLAYED ME. It was way too much for my heart and I could not stop laughing at how his coolness was almost too cheesy. Sidenote: I also have a huge crush on Dan Stevens, so maybe I wasn’t capable of handling his character in this movie. But I stand by my opinion, his character became a little bit too much for me at times.



Another issue I had with the movie was that the story was flawed for me. First of all, why was he taken into the Peterson family’s home so willingly? He became like the replacement son in a matter of days — picking up the younger son from school, having constant drinks with the dad, etc etc. Furthermore, David’s whole reason for being in there with them in the first place didn’t make sense to me at the end of the movie, after the audience figures out who he is. I will give credit where credit is due though and say that the movie did a great job of working up the suspense/ mystery. The whole first half of the movie, I knew something was off but I couldn’t quite place it and then the second half really picked up nicely.

Overall, I think the movie could have been better. The story didn’t quite add up for me in the end and the characters were a bit ridiculous. Maika Monroe’s character’s last line in the movie perfectly sums up how I felt about David Collins and the movie’s story in general: “What the fuck?”

Upcoming: I give my take on Eraserhead directed by David Lynch.