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The Guest (2014)

Updated on June 28, 2020

The Guest (2014) review

This was an excellent action thriller! I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was exciting and the build up was executed brilliantly. It wasn’t perfect. I had a couple small gripes with it, but overall it was very enjoyable. The script was written with precision and there were very few dull moments. I like that they kept a certain amount of mystery about the main character until near the end, when everything came to the surface in a very exciting finale. There was a lot of extreme violence too, which I personally like in an action thriller. I didn’t care for the ending, and some of the acting was amateur at best, but this was a solid action flick.

The Guest (2014) was written by Simon Barrett and directed by Adam Wingard. It starred Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Sheila Kelley and Leland Orser. Spencer (Orser) and Laura Peterson (Kelley) live with their two kids, Luke and Anna (Monroe). They are grieving over the death of their son Caleb, who was a soldier who lost his life in the war in Afghanistan. One day a stranger shows up on their doorstep named David Collins (Stevens). He claims he was a friend of Calebs in the war, and he came to visit them because he told Caleb he would. At first he is very charming and polite, and the family enjoys his company. But when bodies start turning up, the daughter Anna starts thinking that David is not who he says he is, and she is absolutely right.

First off, Dan Stevens gave an amazing performance. He really impressed me with his acting ability. I liked him for most of the movie, he seemed like a good guy who was just trying to help the family any way he could, until his true intentions became more clear toward the end. Another impressive performance was from the daughter of the family, Anna, played by Maika Monroe. Not only was she breathtakingly beautiful, but she portrayed her characters emotions very well throughout the film.

Now on to what I didn’t care for. Leland Orser, who played Anna’s father Spencer, was not believable at all. He just seemed angry all the time, and really only displayed one emotion in every scene he was in. He showed no range as an actor and I feel he gave a truly poor performance. The movie would have been better if his role was cast differently, in my opinion. The other thing I didn’t care for was the ending. Sometimes they decide early in production that they want to make a sequel, and they make the mistake of leaving too big a cliffhanger. It felt like the movie ended before it was over, and there wasn’t much resolution, which was disappointing. However, the journey along the way was more than enough for me to call this a very good thriller.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who appreciates a good thriller and an excellent story.

Film trivia

  • The budget for this film was 5 million dollars. The worldwide gross was 2.7 million dollars.
  • This film was produced by HanWay Films. It was distributed by Picturehouse.
  • This movie was filmed in New Mexico.
  • When David and Anna are at the Halloween party, a guest can be seen wearing the Fox mask worn by one of the home invaders in Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett's previous feature, You're Next. The party guest is played by Steve Moore, who composed the score for the film.
  • The screenplay was written in under 8 weeks.
  • The film is intentionally structured as a horror film with the pace of a thriller.


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