Alright. There has been an upsurge (at least in my viewing habits) of gory meaningless “thrillers” which basically revolve around one person needlessly courting violence and murder, and other people who are weaker who have to deal with it (for like 2 hours!!) but who kill that other person eventually, in what is supposed to be a satisfying ending, but really just highlights how unnecessary the movie was to begin with. I’m mostly talking about this and Hush, both of which I watched in a 48 window. Within the first 12 minutes of Hush I met my stabbing quota for the year, but they (and I!) just kept on going!
I am watching these movies because now I have a boyfriend who loves them and some of them are great (It Follows, Let the Right One In, The Burbs) but some of them are just rude.
This movie was ruined for me before it even started honestly, by a too descriptive Netflix caption. I have had this problem with Netflix before. You’re reading a lil blurb to see if you want to watch a movie, and they give you the whole plot before you’ve even realized what is happening, and then it’s too late. The blurb on this movie is, “A stranger claiming to be the close friend of a recently deceased soldier…” UM HELLO. WHY WOULD YOU USE THE WORD ‘CLAIMING’ THERE?? Now we know he’s not. And now it’s just a waiting game of when they find out/when we find out why he’s actually there. Spoiler alert- we never do! This is my other problem. If you wanna make a movie where there’s a bunch of murder because you like suspense and gore, do it! Don’t bother with some shitty pretense, just be open about it! A million of those movies exist and a million more will be made and they’ll do well because people like to watch that! You don’t have to trick other people into watching it, you already have a solid demographic. But they know there’s crossover potential if it’s a “psychological thriller” because then you get the goreheads AND the smart people. So, there’s a bunch of movies that try to write in complicated motives & plot twists but they’re shitty and not supported, and that’s exactly what happened here.
The movie begins with this guy who looks like EITHER a Value brand Chris Evans or a Value brand Cam Gigandet (it’s true!!!!) coming to the home of a sad mom and explaining that he knew her dead son. And she seems apprehensive but he says ma’am a lot and he’s in a group army pic on the mantle. (This picture was my favorite part because later we find out he’s not really who he says he is, so I think we’re supposed to assume he doctored the picture then broke in and replaced it prior? I don’t know but it’s exciting). So she’s like, “this’ll be good for us” and invites him to stay for a few days.
By the way: there is no better indicator of a climactic plot upramp than a mom saying decidedly, “This will be good for us.”
So, he moves in and promptly gets very entangled in the two remaining kids’ lives. The littlest brother (don’t remember his name, not important, probably something like Noah) is getting bullied at school and our new dark (blonde) horse sets up a lil scene at a local bar with all the bullies (guess what team they are on at school? It’s not chess!) where he ends up beating the living shit out of all of them and dropping some classic lines like, “Money’s not hard to come by” after paying 400$ for shots. They drive away and Noah seems to be endeared/scared into submission by his lack of human empathy.
The other child, a blonde daughter named a girl’s name, is skeptical at first but then wowed by his abs. She takes him to a party where he has sex with her friend who’s dressed like a cat, and slams someone’s head into a piece of glass. Sexy! They have a heart to heart on the car ride home about her boyfriend being a reluctant drug dealer, and bond when he says he also likes edgy female vocalists. She is taken aback because he is a man with abs and they aren’t supposed to identify with anything feminine, but he is a complicated mysterious dreamboat and she offers to make him a mix CD. Also it must be said that her hairstyle for the ENTIRE movie, even when fending off death in a clown haunted house (let me get there!!!) is an asymmetrical cornrow look. You heard me, it’s a blonde girl with four cornrows on ONE SIDE of her head. So, just put that in your back pocket and walk around with it.
Now, things are going kind of okay, but then everything starts to be less okay. “David” (his character name is in quotes on the IMDB page) arranges with some guy from the party to buy a gun, and they meet in the desert where he murders that guy and the guy who brought the guns, and takes all the guns. He also murders the dad’s boss (? Probably, it is never confirmed, but it’s set up really suspiciously and it would make sense) and a lot of people in a diner (but that’s a little later). The blonde daughter overhears a phone call he makes one morning that sounds very suspicious so she calls the military base where he said he was stationed (Does that sound logistically right? Idk whoever it would make sense for her to call she does) and they say he’s dead. So she’s like wtf, but then also it starts a shitstorm on the other end where the military is like, “Who called about him!! Let’s go find out!” because apparently he is a top secret/liability/rogue/sleeper cell- I don’t know the words, but they want to find him. So they come to the house and he’s doing laundry outside, cue, more murder. He stabs the mom to death in the chest while calling her ma’am (true) and kills the dad in a game of chicken no one agreed to. He kills the girl he slept with (dressed like a waitress now) and everyone else in the diner.
Then he goes to find and kill Noah, which brings us to the clown haunted house. Noah was given a month of after school detention and Halloween is coming up (I guess? At the party earlier people were already wearing costumes, so it’s like, how long do they celebrate Halloween in this town??) and his job is to help sweep hay in this haunted house. His sister also goes there to try to warn/save him. Everyone gets there at the same time so they are running around these mazes made of mirrors (alliteration!) with knives. There’s also a government agent guy there (the only black person in the entire movie) who gets killed but manages to explain that “David” is the product of a “chemical experiment” …………………..so nothing. He explains nothing. Then he dies.
The daughter and “David” face off and she stabs him in the arm I think but he’s about to kill/choke her to death when the little brother comes out of hiding and stabs him in the back of the neck with the knife “David” gifted him earlier when they were carving pumpkins (maybe it’s a modern day Halloween town like in Nightmare Before Christmas where they celebrate Halloween all year long because that was weeks before!!). Then it seems like it’s all over and they are both sitting outside with an ambulance and firefighters are bringing people out and then the daughter looks at one of the guys with a hazmat suit/mask who’s walking with a limp and we look into those good ole baby blues and see it’s him and she goes “What the fuck?” and the movie ends.
It ends with dramatic music and a title card with purple lettering that says “THE GUEST” really big. There were a lot of funny edits/music choices/jump cuts in this that I appreciated as humor, which I’m not entirely sure they were? But they probably were.
Overall, if this movie had not been made not a single thing on this planet would be different. I was bored and entertained at the same time, and it felt so FLIMSY. A chemical experiement??? Are you kidding me?? I feel like the good writer got mad and quit and everyone else had to scramble and this is what they came up with. It kind of reminded me of Taking Lives but bad?
Two out of five unnecessary stabbings, would not masturbate again.