Honesty, trust, deception, and death collide in atmospheric action thriller The Guest. When a stranger named David arrives at the doorstep of a grieving family and presents knowledge of their, he’s quickly welcomed as honored guest. David is kind, helpful, and the perfect gentleman to everyone. But as situations arise and truths come to light, things are not as what they seem. And the people are suddenly forced to ask themselves, who is this mysterious stranger?
A Mysterious Man, A Mysterious Past
The family still grieving the loss of their oldest son is visited by a man claiming to know the son well. Sharing military duty with him, he brings a message fromt he son stating that he loved them ’til the end. The family then quickly grows fond of him. Which is easy to understand, as his presence softens the difficult loss, and his perfect gentleman demeanor only sweetens things further. As his willingness to protect and assist the family comes well-timed.
When events around town begin to occur, people begin to wonder what darkness lurks inside him. And what does his past truly hold. As But things quickly pivot towards a different direction and they begin to wonder, can the guest be trusted? And what will happen when their relationship is tested? Who would you even believe is telling the truth when every detail comes from another stranger?
The Game of Trust
As he becomes a growing member of the family, he’s viewed as being reliable and trustworthy. Son’s in trouble? Send David. Someone need a ride? Send David! With someone so kind, helpful, and quick to volunteer assistance is easy to see why trust is given so quickly. All of this is done while insisting he ask for nothing in return.
Although David isn’t the best at helping the youngest son with his schoolwork, he is capable of teaching him about life and how to protect himself. Anyone who’s been bullied understands how hard high school can be on your personal life. Especially when you have no local friends, and the friends you do have are all online.
Truth is David’s background comes in handy in cleaning up some of the darker elements of the small town with large problems. Based on how safe everything feels in the tight knight community, things seem to get out of hand very quickly. Those in the community praise David for his swift action to help them navigate the messier parts of their neighborhood.
Action & Style
Director Adam Wingard has a way with using neon colors, such as hot pink and bright blue in his films. Early on, colors are more natural and earth-toned (brown, green), rarely bright. As the film goes on, things become more colorful and exaggerate the scenery, enhancing the story along the way. Not to mention, it makes for a cool transition throughout the film.
The music has an infectious way about setting the tone in a slick manner in The Guest. With an 80s synth-inspired sound and low rez bass beat soundtrack, the film has a way of capturing your ear like few ever can.
The transitions of each song, scene, and story are already great here. But these all come together under brilliant cinematography. From the sheets flowing up in the wind and showing David’s surprised face, or the art house filming of the Halloween house, you’re treated to some finely chosen filmmaking.
Watching all the elements of the film come together is beyond compelling. Mix in the genre transitions with the building story, and you have a great film overall. The style alone makes this worth recommending!
By the time the film finishes, you’ll find it hard not to recommend this film to others. With its approachable narrative about a grieving family and a stranger, followed by the truth coming to light of this mysterious visitor, film genres are rarely blended so well. The story will surprise you; the buildup will excite you, and repeat viewings feel refreshing and cool to see.
If you’re looking for something with mystery, suspense, drama, action, and thriller elements look no further than 2014’s The Guest.
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