HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Twenty-Eight – 10/28/18

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Full disclosure: beyond clips from the show, I never saw DAN STEVENS in any full episodes of DOWNTON ABBEY, but I get it. His role in director ADAM WINGARD’S THE GUEST was about as far from the Abbey as he could possibly get…and then some.

If you are already familiar with Wingard’s previous work, (YOU’RE NEXT!, A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE, the V/H/S series), then you’d think you know what to expect. That’s kind of true, but even familiarity with his other films isn’t going to prepare you for some of the wicked twists here.

When “David” (STEVENS) comes knocking on the front door of the Petersen’s place one day, and announces that he knew their deceased son from the war, their natural inclination is to welcome him into their home. Which they do. There’s immediate chemistry between him and their daughter, Anna (MAIKA MONROE of IT FOLLOWS), yet Anna senses there might be something else there…something possibly on the dangerous side. And actually, she was way underestimating that instinctive assessment.

Wingard and writer SIMON BARRETT don’t bring anything new to the table, in terms of subverting our prejudices about what a “good guy with a gun” looks like, or what he will do. But what they do with their scenario is done as well as you think it could be, from the same guys who gave us YOU’RE NEXT! THE GUEST is more of an action-suspense thriller with some decent nods to horror conventions, just like that film was.  And both Stevens and Monroe just kick ass in their respective roles, and left me hoping that we might see a sequel someday.

POST-MORTEM SCRYPT: 2014 was damn near an embarrassment of riches, that gave us movies like HOUSEBOUND, THE PURGE: ANARCHY, GOODNIGHT, MOMMY, SPRING, DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS. DEAD, THE BABADOOK, WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, A GIRL WALKS HOME AT NIGHT and, of course, IT FOLLOWS.

Posted by Samuel Glass

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