"Wildly Over the Top"
THE GUEST is a thriller about a soldier returning from Afghanistan who visits his best soldier friend’s family to share his final words with them from the battlefield, only to set off a strange and violent chain of events. THE GUEST has a strong Romantic worldview with pagan and politically correct Anti-American elements, plus plenty of lewd content.
The movie kicks off in Hitchcockian fashion from its opening scene. The main character, a recently discharged Afghan War vet named David, is seen running for miles to get to the extremely rural home of the Peterson family. David claims he was best friends with their killed-in-action son, Caleb, and that he’s visiting because he promised Caleb he would relay Caleb’s final loving words to them.
David seems perfect and is incredibly handsome and caring, so the family quickly falls under his charms. He tries to help the bullied teenage son by beating a gang of bullies while they drink in a bar. He then offers to take the daughter, Anna, to a party as a chaperone, only to show her that he doesn’t mind at all if she drinks underage and smokes marijuana. He drinks and smokes joints himself. He also fornicates with one of her high school friends at the party.
Even so, Anna still has suspicions about who David is and what his motivations are. When she tries to phone a military hotline and verify his identity, it triggers a major alert by officials who warn Anna to get her family out and town and then race to the small town to capture David dead or alive.
(SPOILERS FOLLOW) Eventually, it’s revealed that David is part of a super-soldier experiment by the US military that went awry for both him and Caleb, who had to be killed to be stopped. As the authorities approach, David gets more ruthless in his actions. This sets off a battle royale between everyone in the third act.
THE GUEST is definitely no-holds-barred and wild in its approach to its story. Occasionally, this unpredictability leaves some plot holes, but Director Adam Wingard knows how to make the story rocket along at high speed. Together with Writer Simon Barrett, he keeps everything highly unpredictable. In addition, THE GUEST has a lot of humor that’s funny but also very dark in tone. The movie’s star, Dan Stevens as David, marks a big departure from his popular role in the successful TV series DOWNTON ABBEY. He could easily wind up a big star based on his extremely high charisma and his success at handling both the action and the comedy here.
However, despite being well made for its genre, THE GUEST is simply too supportive of its lead character’s ruthless behavior. It’s also too politically correct in its depiction of the U.S. military brainwashing soldiers to be violent killing machines. There’s also abundant foul language, other lewd content and substance abuse. So, THE GUEST is unacceptable entertainment, especially for media-wise viewers.
(RoRoRo, APAP, PCPC, Pa, LLL, VVV, SS, NN, AA, DD, MMM) Very strong Romantic worldview with strong Anti-American, politically correct elements where U.S. military deliberately brainwashes soldiers, which corrupts them, plus some pagan elements; at least 90 obscenities and profanities (including many “f” words and some GDs); very strong violence builds in intensity and ferocity and includes bone-crunching bar fight between former soldier and underage teenage bullies harassing one boy, gunfights, soldier against underage, teenage bullies as the “guest” defends the family’s son’s honor against a bunch of high school jocks. Eventually, the movie escalates into gunfights, man sets off hand grenade in a restaurant killing the people inside, man steals car and uses it to recklessly chase another character out to turn him into the authorities, man slams car into the car of his host family’s father, man fatally stabs woman in chest, and fighting and shooting during a final showdown in the maze of a high school gym’s “haunted house”; strong sexual content includes man with topless high school girl, passionate kissing, and another teenage girl leers at topless man lustfully; upper female and male nudity; underage drinking and father is an alcoholic; no tobacco use but depicted marijuana use and man drives under the influence, taking wheel from more inebriated teenage girl; and, revenge, reckless driving, lying, and villain gets away.
THE GUEST kicks off in Hitchcockian fashion from its opening scene. The main character, a recently discharged Afghan War vet named David, is seen running for miles to get to the extremely rural home of the Peterson family. David claims he was best friends with their killed-in-action son, Caleb, and that he’s visiting because he promised Caleb he would relay Caleb’s final loving words to them. David seems perfect – incredibly handsome and caring. The family quickly falls under his charms. He helps the son against some bullies and counsels the daughter. However, David isn’t what he seems. And, eventually, a battle royale ensues.
THE GUEST is definitely no-holds-barred and wild in its approach to its story. Occasionally, this unpredictability leaves some plot holes, but Director Adam Wingard makes the story rocket along at high speed. He also adds some funny dark humor. However, the movie seems too supportive of the title character’s ruthless behavior. It’s also too politically correct and contains abundant foul language, other lewd content and substance abuse. So, THE GUEST ultimately is unacceptable entertainment, especially for media-wise viewers.