Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sean Kelly

TIFF 2014: The Guest


The writer-director duo of Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard (You’re Next) return with this action-thriller about a mysterious visitor, who is not all that he seems.  One day, the Peterson family is visited by a man named David (Dan Stevens), who claims to be a friend of their deceased soldier son Caleb.  While Caleb’s parents and brother Luke (Brendan Meyer) welcome David into their lives, Annie Peterson (Maika Monroe) becomes suspicious of this guest in their home.  As it quickly turns out, there is much more to David than meets the eye.

After the crowd-pleasing success of the home invasion thriller You’re Next, Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard go into a different direction with their follow-up.  The Guest is an action/horror hybrid, which comes across as a mix between The Terminator and John Carpenter’s Halloween.  The plot of the film is built around the performance of Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) as David, who has a quite charming exterior, but is really quite robotic with his actions.  The Guest leaves it ambiguous, right up until the climax, whether or not this mysterious stranger is friend or foe.

The John Carpenter-vibe of The Guest is assisted greatly with the film’s excellent synthesizer-based score, which gives the film a real 1980s vibe to it.  It’s hard to classify The Guest under a single genre, since it has a bit of everything.  The film has a bit of slow start in the first act, before it becomes a bit of an action film, as David demonstrates how extremely capable he is at fighting. Then, towards the end of the film, The Guest moves into a more horror direction, helped greatly by the setting of a Halloween dance.  Altogether, The Guest turned out to be a pretty fun film.



  • Sunday, September 14, 6:45pm – Scotiabank Theatre 3

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).