katrinaolson.ca - KO DVD Review of The Guest

Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 06:00 PM

Movie: Guest, The

KO DVD Review of The Guest

Review by Katrina Olson-Mottahed X CalgaryMovies.com

Recently I had a conversation with a friend about a film from our youth called Fear (1996, USA). Fear starred Mark Wahlberg, then pant-dropping Calvin Klein underwear model and Good Vibrations music sensation Marky Mark. Mark Wahlberg played David, an obsessive psychopath boyfriend to Nicole (Reese Witherspoon) who *spoiler alert* tried to murder her entire family, including the dog. Nineteen years later, Fear is still considered amongst one of mine and my friend’s favorite 90′s teen thrillers. Of course there were others, but the thing with Fear, is the actors in that film are still acting today, not to mention are among Hollywood’s ‘A’ list.

Nearly two decades later, I think I found a contemporary version of that film in The Guest. New to DVD on January 6, 2015, The Guest is about a charming soldier (ironically also) named David (played by Dan Stevens) who shows up on the door step of the Peterson Family claiming to have been a buddy of their son Caleb who died in action. From basically the first scene in the film I was drawn into David’s intensely piercing blue eyes, and velvety soft southern tone. David claims their deceased son/brother asked him to visit the family on his behalf. David acts as a supportive son to the parents in addition to acting as a protective big brother to Caleb’s siblings. After Mrs. Peterson invites David to stay with them rather than a motel, he quickly works his way in to every family members life.

Everything seems to so much better with David in the lives of the Peterson family, until people close to the family mysteriously start being murdered. David reveals his dark side to The Peterson’s son Luke (played by Brendan Meyer) when he is bullied at school and David takes it upon himself to teach them a lesson… military style. David is capable of extreme violence. Mrs. Peterson asks David to accompany her daughter Anna (Malika Monroe) to a house party and he not only decides to be a bad chaperone and do drugs and alcohol, but takes advantage of Anna’s underaged best friend Kristen (played by Tabatha Shaun) in the bedroom. Anna begins to get suspicious of David’s intentions and when she starts investigating why he left the military, she is informed that according to records, he passed away a week prior in Arizona. When she confronts him, her parent’s side with David. Anna convinces her brother Luke to help her investigate David’s military background. Luke discloses Anna’s investigation to David after he smooth talks Luke’s principal out of expelling him for a fight her had with a bully in class.

It turns out the military had been searching for David and Anna’s information led Major Carver (played by Lance Reddick who resembles Morpheus from The Matrix) of the military police to the Peterson family house where full-out militia warfare takes place and the family home is basically converted into Swiss Cheese. Major Carver tries to save Anna and Luke from David’s killing spree, but he may be a little too late. The final show down takes place in the Halloween school dance themed fun house. Ironic because being hunted down by David seems like anything but fun.

The soundtrack for this film is bizarre. It reminded me of the electronic background track on an episode of Pokémon, but if you can get past that, the movie is pretty entertaining in a teen-thriller sort-of-way. Dan Stevens plays the sexy serial killer perfectly, and then ending isn’t what you would expect.

All photos courtesy of Universal Entertainment.


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