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.
Dan Stevens plays David, who is The Guest: a soldier visiting the family of a friend who died in action. The Petersons don’t quite know what to make of him at first, but polite as they are they sort of welcome him into their home. In a short few days he manages to move from a surprise guest at the door to an almost integral part of their lives, having the best interest of all the Petersons at heart. He individually builds trusting relationships with Dad, Mum and the kids Anna and Luke. But after a few days strange things seem to start to happen and Anna (Maika Monroe, intriguing in last year’s It Follows) is the first to start to wonder if there is a connection with David…
The first two thirds of the movie are a slow burn, offer an intriguing build-up with a nice 80s horror vibe to it. You just know things are going to go off the rails, you just don’t know how and definitely not why yet. The atmosphere, cinematogaphy and sound track all match nicely.
It’s during the final third act that all that build-up all just falls apart unfortunately. The backstory that unfolds, which is supposed to explain the ‘why’, is unnecessarily far-fetched and maybe the plot would have been better without that supposed explanation or justification altogether. But also the final act is such a terrible cliche, both the set and the scares; it probably was intended as an homage to classic horror movies, but instead of elevating above its homage, it degrades its finale well into B-movie territory.
Maybe worth a 7 for the first hour of the movie, but not much more than a 4 for the final half hour. A disappointing 5 overall.