I’d heard that The Guest was a pulpy thriller at heart, but I’d been unaware of just how true that was. But, I’ve got to admit, Adam Wingard (director) really pulls it off.
Dan Steven’s plays David, a hunky soldier back from the Middle East who visits the Peterson family claiming to be fulfilling the dying wish of his brother in arms – and their son – Caleb. But is David really who he says he is?
The Guest knows exactly what it is and it’s firmly rooted in that throwback B-movie set-up. This is due, in a substantial part, to Stevens, who delivers a killer turn as the enigmatic mystery man. Wingard makes full use of his physicality and his steely stare is reminiscent of Ryan Gosling’s star-making turn in the magnificent Drive.
The rest of the cast are game too. Maika Monroe is particularly effective as the Peterson’s David-doubting daughter, and the costume department certainly nailed her iconic diner waitresses’ uniform.
There are some narrative questions left unanswered and the central conceit is never really given a particularly satisfying explanation, but The Guest is a stripped back thriller that simply oozes style.