Saturday, January 10, 2015

Jason versus The Guest

I've been a fan of directing/screenwriting duo Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett since A Horrible Way to Die back in 2010. What's impressed me most is their movies tend to lean toward horror, but the tone and filmmaking style shifts from flick to flick to suite the story.

So how do Winged and Barrett handle a (kinda) loving tribute to 80s action flicks? With some British guy who stars in a period drama called Downton Abbey in the lead? Stick with me!

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 deaths seem to be connected to his presence.

To put it mildly, The Guest is one of the most flat-out entertaining movies I've seen in years. You can't call yourself a movie fan, or a fan of action movies in particular, and not like it. I called my wife into the room to watch a sequence where The Guest takes out a bunch of football players in a bar and, although she had no context of what the sequence was about, she thought the scene was awesome. That's what each and every scene in The Guest is -- awesome.

There isn't one moment, one character beat, one note of music or a single performance that is out of place. If a distributor said something had to go, I have no idea what it would be. This flick is as close to perfection -- for the kind of movie it is -- as I've ever seen.

Think John Carpenter in 80s action mode or a Cannon Films release and you get the idea. Even then, it's hard to predict where this movie is going until it gets there. And when it does, it's still awesome.

I've never watched Downton Abbey. It's not my thing. So I can't compare Dan Stevens' work here to there. But he owns this movie and deserves to become a huge star Stateside because of it. I found myself cheering him on even when the time had come to stop. He's plays The Guest to perfection.

I could say more, but that's not what we're about in The Basement. Get off your lazy asses, turn off the latest Hollywood blockbuster or awards garbage, and watch The Guest. It's Good.

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