Movie Review: THE GUEST (2014)


“A soldier introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action.  After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence.”

I feel like I’m going to get a lot of shit for my review of this movie so I may as well just get straight to the point – what’s the big deal with this movie?  I’m not sure why everyone is going crazy over this movie as if it’s something they have never seen before.  I felt like it was a combination of the movie “Drive” and any thriller you want to throw in for good measure.  Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t think so.  It definitely wasn’t the worst movie I’ve seen but nothing jumped out as me as being fresh or new – however, Dan Stevens – who played David – was terrific.  I really hope that we get to see him in some more horror movies because hot damn, he was good.

The movie is directed by Adam Wingard, who also directed the horror/slasher movie “You’re Next.”  I actually liked that movie and found parts of it to be really creative and when I heard that “The Guest” was even better I was pretty pumped to watch it.  I just wished “The Guest” provoked some feeling in me but alas, I felt nothing.  However, I congratulate Wingard on his success with this movie as I have seen nothing but praises for it and I would like to see what other movies he has in store for us.

I wouldn’t say this movie was a complete bust for me though.  Though I felt like it didn’t offer a lot for me in the thriller/horror/scare factor, it was a very stylistic movie and I liked how the ending was shot.  With that said, here are my pros and cons for the movie:


– Dan Stevens because wow.  Not only is he sexy as hell but he put on a great performance.  I tip my hat to you good sir.

– The soundtrack.  I love love love how the music was done for the movie, especially the last scene.  I just thought it fit together beautifully.

– Lance Reddick.  He rocks my socks off and I’ve loved him ever since I’ve watched “The Fringe.”  Such a great actor, I just wish he had more standout roles.

– Leland Orser.  Also a fan of his work.  He was great in his short role in the movie.  He always creeped me out, ever since “The Bone Collector.”

– Essentially I enjoyed almost all the acting in the movie.

– The scene with the grenades and the scene with Ethan Embry.  That is all I will say.


– The only acting I didn’t enjoy was from Sheila Kelley who played the mom (Laura Peterson).  They made her weak and naive.  I understand she loses her son in battle but give the woman some strength.  Listen, a hot guy comes to your house and says he knew your son and just wanted to send his regards – you don’t just invite him to stay at your house.  Hello!!! Background checks?  Aren’t you at all curious as to where the fuck this person came from?

– Originality.  I really thought it lacked this big time.  You could see what was coming a mile away and it didn’t leave you with much suspense or dread.  I felt like it was very predictable and didn’t offer much in terms of being creative or different.

– The ending.  Though I did like the ending up to the final scene – that final scene was so unnecessary.  I was not surprised by it and I think it didn’t need to be there.  I felt like the movie was trying to leave a cliff hanger and it just got confused and threw together a weird parting shot that just made you go huh? Why bother?

I’m really kind of mad I didn’t like this movie more.  But as I said before, I think Dan Stevens could be a breakout star for the horror genre.  So for my final thoughts on “The Guest”:

Concept/Story: 1/2
Style Effect:  2/2
Atmosphere:  1/2
Scares: 0/2
Rewatchability: 1/2
TOTAL:  5/10

This movie just wasn’t for me – but I hope it continues to do well and bring more positive light to the horror/thriller genre!

Shannon McGrew
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