I don’t have a lot to say about this one, but I enjoyed the hell out of it the other night. I’m a regular listener of the “Doug Loves Movies” podcast, and I think this was one of those 2014 films that got tossed out as a quick recommendation by a guest, but with enough info that I knew it was my cup of tea. It’s directed by Adam Wingard, and I also happened to have enjoyed the hell out of his 2011 film, You’re Next. I just had to wait for the price to drop, but it finally became rentable on Amazon Instant last week.
It’s really trashy, it plays like straight-up old school drive-in fare — less boobs, more fighting. Think Bob Clark’s great 1972 film Deathdream, or the Paul Schrader scripted 1977 classic Rolling Thunder. Like those films, The Guest centers around a war veteran (Dan Stevens, aka Matthew Crawley from “Downton Abbey”!?!) who’s come home bearing some physical or mental damage. In this telling, David Collins comes to visit the family of one of his deceased squadron members, bringing immediate relief to the problems of their day-to-day life … while eventually becoming a much bigger one. There are no surprises here, especially for fans of this kind of exploitation fare, but I enjoyed every trashy second of it, and would happily see it again. It’s hard to say it was one of the best films of 2014 or anything, but was probably one of the funnest.
(The Guest is available for rent on Amazon Instant Video.)