Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Movie Review: The Guest
Last night, as is our annual custom, I watched "A Christmas Carol" with the girls (it's too scary for the boys). Then I decided to watch "The Guest" on a recommendation from a friend (who shall remain nameless).
Can I recommend it? No. How did this get a 96% rating on rottentomatoes??? Now, don't get me wrong--for 3/4 of the movie I enjoyed it. I'm not recommending that the movie not be watched. I really liked the throwback 80's John Carpenteresque soundtrack. (There needs to be a name for one of the eerie musical sound effects that had to have been ripped off from the 80's. Maybe there is a name for it).
I liked the main character well enough. However...
I couldn't have cared less for the rest of the flat cast. It's not that the acting was poor, it's just that I REALLY didn't care when the mom, dad, etc. were killed in cold blood because the characters were so flat. "OK, kill them. We'll make more," was my basic thought. There was just nothing to like about the family (except for the son who 'The Guest' befriends). 'The Guest' might just as well have shot complete strangers on the sidewalk instead of the main cast of characters.
Now in a horror flick, the characters who die are flat, yes, but that doesn't matter--you can still identify with how scared they are and being scared is what makes horror movies fun. But 'The Guest' isn't a horror flick. The only killing of note that takes place are a few random executions that come pretty much out of the blue. It's not scary.
And that's fine; I wasn't expecting it to be scary, but I was really hoping for more. We come to the end only to find out...wait...wait...we have a crazy mental patient on our hands. He's a government project gone haywire.
That's it?? That's the big punchline?? He's crazy?? Oh and there's this: His condition is such that he is deluded into thinking the government is out to get him and that anyone who finds out about him has to be killed. (Of course he's not so crazy as not to be (a) a terribly adept assassin and (b) someone who can fool an entire family into thinking that he is someone he's not).
And this actually makes things worse. Now we find out that the would-be hero is really nuts, but he's not like pure evil. Do I now want to see him dead? Not really, after all, none of this is really his fault. So now I just don't care who at all! I need good guys and bad guy--or at least bad guys.
Sorry, just not buying it. (And do we ever find out just WHY he goes to THIS family in the first place pretending to have known their dead son? That's wasn't explained by the crazy medical condition, if I recall, in which case, the film isn't coherent.)
I was hoping 'The Guest' would turn out to be an angel or demon or REALLY twisted freak or SOMETHING. But he was just a delusional mental patient. BORING.
I recommend watching the first 2/3 of the film and making up your own ending.