The Guest (2014)
Based on movies I’ve seen recently I cannot help but mention the many parallels to It Follows. It’s like the directors attended the same class in film school, and then fell in love with the same girl, Maika Monroe, who is my new favorite final girl.
The Guest is like It Follows on testosterone, except that the pesky STD (Sexually Transmitted Demon) has been replaced by a poor man’s Paul Walker (RIP) with PTSD, who suddenly pops up in a family’s life and wreaks havoc.
Dan Stevens, who plays the stalkery, psychopathic older brother you never wanted, oscillates between awesome dude and deranged maniac. In his desire to become the family’s unsolicited protector, his sole response to any problem or obstacle is excessive, unwarranted violence. Watching this is quite hilarious if you don’t take it too seriously. Stevens’ death stare is over the top, as is most of the acting except for Monroe’s, who gives the movie some much needed nuance.
Stylistically, The Guest is quite a feast for eyes and ears, channelling John Carpenter’s glorious 80’s, especially in the final scene. The mystery surrounding Stevens’ character, however, is less exciting. The scenes involving the military contractors are disrupting the atmosphere and the entire plotline feels forced and lazy at the same time. It’s like they were desperately trying to splice two genres together, and it’s not working for me. The Guest is a fun ride with a split personality, only one of which you’ll be glad to have met.