The Guest (film)

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The Guest
File:The Guest Film Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Adam Wingard
Produced by
Written by Simon Barrett
Starring
Music by Steve Moore
Cinematography Robby Baumgartner
Edited by Adam Wingard
Production
company
Distributed by Picturehouse
Release dates
  • January 17, 2014 (2014-01-17) (Sundance)
  • September 17, 2014 (2014-09-17) (United States)
Running time
100 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Box office $2.4 million[2]

The Guest is a 2014 American action thriller film directed and edited by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett. The film stars Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Brendan Meyer, and Lance Reddick. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 17, 2014.[3] Wingard and Barrett similarly worked together for their previous film You're Next (2011). The film was released in the United States on September 17, 2014.[4]

Plot

After the loss of their eldest son, Caleb, to the war in Afghanistan, the Peterson family (the husband, wife and their children Luke and Anna) are visited by David Collins, who claims to be a former soldier and Caleb's best friend, and he is there to help Caleb take care of the family. David is polite, warm and friendly toward the family, and Mrs. Peterson offers to let him stay as long as he needs to.

David hears of Mr. Peterson's troubles at work and sees Luke return home with a mark on his face, caused by a gang of jock bullies in school. The next day, with Luke's help, David follows the bullying jock gang that attacked Luke to a bar, and humiliates them in a confrontation which erupts into a fight that injures all the bullies. He then uses his knowledge of the law, as well as a bribe, to convince the bartender not to tell anyone. David then goes to a party with a reluctant Anna, at which he saves her friend Kristen from her ex-boyfriend, also inquiring about where to buy guns from Anna's friend Craig. On their way home, Anna offers to make David a mix CD.

David gives Luke some advice on dealing with bullies and gives him his butterfly knife. He meets Craig and his friend to buy the gun, but then kills them both and takes all the weapons, including two grenades. An increasingly suspicious Anna calls the military base to ask about David. The call alerts a private corporation headed by Major Carver, who assembles a special forces team and heads to Anna's house. Anna is told that David died a week ago. Anna then learns that Craig was killed and her boyfriend Zeke has been blamed for it. It is revealed that Mr. Peterson's boss died under mysterious circumstances, giving him the promotion he always wanted. Anna asks Luke to research the numbers David has called on his phone.

At school, one of the bullies assaults Luke again, and he retaliates, injuring the bully. After they are both sent to the principal's office, David arrives and blackmails the principal to give Luke a month of after-school detention with threats of litigation if the principal expels him. Luke tells David of Anna's suspicions, but Promises not to investigate any further or tell anyone else. While David helps Mrs. Peterson with the laundry, Major Carver's team attack the house. David deftly kills all except Carver. Deciding his cover has been blown, David kills Mrs. Peterson. While driving away, he sees Mr. Peterson and kills him as well.

Carver picks up Anna and informs her of her parents' death. He reveals that David is a former test subject for a military program. He was "programmed" to kill anyone who might compromise his identity. David kills Kristen, destroys the restaurant she works at, then heads for the school to kill Luke. Carver and Anna head for the school, and enter a haunted house set up for the Halloween dance. David announces his presence by turning off the lights and playing Anna's mix CD, then kills Luke's principal and Carver. Anna shoots David with Carver's gun, but David stabs her in the leg and attempts to choke her. Luke stabs David with his own butterfly knife. As he seemingly dies, David tells Luke that he's "proud of him".

Sitting in an ambulance, Anna and Luke overhear the firefighters talking. They found two charred corpses with no teeth. Anna then sees David exiting the building, posing as a firefighter.

Cast

Production

Wingard directed the new thriller film with the script written by Simon Barrett. Keith Calder and Jessica Wu produced.[5] On March 7, 2014 Picturehouse picked up the US distribution rights to the film.[6] The film was released into cinemas on September 5, 2014.[7]

Casting

Casting choices focused on character actors.[8] On June 11, 2013, actor Dan Stevens signed to star in the role of David. [5] Maika Monroe was signed on June 26, to star opposite Stevens as Anna. [9] On July 8, two more were added to the cast, Brendan Meyer, who played Luke, Monroe's character's younger brother, and Lance Reddick, who played a CID agent.[10] When casting Stevens, Barrett and Wingard were aware that he would initially be quite likable, both for his attractiveness and his character's importance to the plot. However, they said the title made the story obvious, and though audiences may cheer on his character for his entertainment value, he is clearly the antagonist of the film, something audiences will easily recognize.[11]

Filming

On July 17, 2013, The New Mexico Film Office announced the start of the production of The Guest.[12] The filming finished at the end of August and was filmed in different locations such as Moriarty, Edgewood and Estancia.[13]

Original rough cut and test screenings

According to director Adam Wingard, the original rough cut of The Guest was over twenty minutes longer than the final theatrical cut. After this version was screened to a test audience, it was cut down to the running time very close to the runtime of the theatrical cut. After another test screening, the audience was confused at the sudden arrival of Major Richard Carver and his team at the Peterson home, which is why some scenes with Carver at KPG headquarters were added in final cut of the film.[14][15]

Some of the scenes which were cut down or deleted completely after test screenings were scenes which explained what exactly "David" is, what happened to him, why he does some of the things he does in the film, and more details and information about the KPG program that he was involved in. These scenes were cut because the test audience felt that all of it was just too much information. Even Wingard and screenwriter Simon Barrett admitted that they hated explaining David's character and his background because they always wanted to leave much of the information about him ambiguous, which is why they were glad that those scenes were disliked by the test screening audience and had to be cut out of the film.[16]

Release

Marketing

On June 26, 2014, the first teaser trailer was released,[17] followed by another trailer on August 6.[18]

Critical reception

Fearnet praised the film's acting and overall remarked that it was "a slick, fast, fun thriller flick."[19] As of March 2015, the film has a 90% score on Rotten Tomatoes based on 96 reviews. The site's consensus states: "Boasting enough intelligence to bolster its darkly violent thrills, The Guest offers another treat for genre fans from director Adam Wingard."[20] On Metacritic, the film has a 76/100 rating based on 29 critics, signifying "generally favorable reviews".[21] The A.V. Club gave the film a B+ (with a community grade of B+ as well) and said that "Dumb fun is rarely this smartly delivered."[22] Bloody Good Horror gave the film an 8/10 and commented, "Mixing elements from such classics like Halloween, The Terminator, and using the framework of Molière's hidden-identity classic Tartuffe keeps this modern 80's thriller on par with some of the best homages seen in recent memory."[23]

Box office

The film opened in the United Kingdom on September 5, 2014 in 274 theaters. It finished in eighth place, grossing $511,040. After four weeks, the film grossed $1,352,579.[24] The film arrived in US markets on September 17 in 19 theaters. During the first weekend, the film took in $84,527. It expanded to more markets on October 10, increasing its screen count from eight to 53. It grossed $47,957 for the weekend, with a per-screen average of $905. After six weeks, the film grossed $332,890.[25]

Accolades

BloodGuts UK Horror Awards 2014[26]

  • Best Film (won)
  • Best Actor – Dan Stevens (won)
  • Best Soundtrack/Score – Steve Moore (won)
  • Best Director – Adam Wingard (nominated)

Detroit Film Critics Society 2014[27]

  • Breakthrough Artist – Dan Stevens (nominated)

Empire Awards 2015[28]

Golden Schmoes Awards 2014[29]

  • Best Horror Movie of the Year (nominated)
  • Breakthrough Performance of the Year – Dan Stevens (nominated)

Independent Spirit Awards 2015[30]

  • Best Editing – Adam Wingard (nominated)

Saturn Awards 2015[31]

  • Best Thriller Film (nominated)
  • Best Actor – Dan Stevens (nominated)

Soundtrack

Official soundtrack:[32]

  1. "Haunted When the Minutes Drag" (Love and Rockets) – 8:01
  2. "Hourglass" (S U R V I V E) – 4:30
  3. "Anthonio (Berlin Breakdown Version)" (Annie) – 4:14
  4. "The Magician" (Mike Simonetti) – 3:59 (digital download version only)
  5. "Masquerade" (Clan of Xymox) – 3:53
  6. "Omniverse" (S U R V I V E) – 4:34
  7. "Because I Love You" (Stevie B) – 5:03
  8. "Storm Column" (Gatekeeper) – 3:30
  9. "A Day" (Clan of Xymox) – 6:40
  10. "Emma" (The Sisters of Mercy) – 6:34
  11. "Obsidian" (Gatekeeper) – 4:19
  12. "Cry in the Wind" (Clan of Xymox) – 5:16[33]

Additional tracks (credited and played during movie but not on official soundtrack):

References

  1. "THE GUEST (15)". British Board of Film Classification. June 16, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "The Guest (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 25, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Harvey, Dennis. ""The Guest" Review". Variety. Retrieved February 20, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "The Guest (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 8, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "'Downton Abbey's' Dan Stevens Books Indie 'The Guest'". variety.com. June 11, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Billington, Alex (March 7, 2014). "Picturehouse Picks Up Adam Wingard's Kick Ass New Film 'The Guest'". firstshowing.net. Retrieved March 8, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Wingard & Barrett's "THE GUEST" Arrives this September". FANGORIA®. Retrieved January 17, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Sois, Jose (October 1, 2014). "Interview with Director Adam Wingard and Screenwriter Simon Barrett". PopMatters. Retrieved August 24, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Rising Star Maika Monroe Joins 'Downton Abbey's' Dan Stevens in 'The Guest'". thewrap.com. June 26, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "'You're Next' Filmmakers Cast Lance Reddick, Brendan Meyer in 'The Guest'". thewrap.com. July 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Wolfe, Clarke (September 20, 2014). "Interview: THE GUEST's Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett". Nerdist Industries. Retrieved August 24, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. ""The Guest" Production has begun in New Mexico". abqjournal.com. July 17, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "'Downton Abbey' star filming thriller in N.M." hispanicbusiness.com. July 17, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett, and Dan Stevens on The Guest, and its place in their big plan". The Dissolve. Retrieved January 17, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Nicolas Winding Refn at THE GUEST, Sundance Next Fest 2014. August 31, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2016 – via YouTube.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Adam Wingard Talks 'The Guest,' Dan Stevens, and Making the Gothest Soundtrack of the Year". Zimbio. Retrieved January 17, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Billington, Alex (June 26, 2014). "Dan Stevens in First 'The Guest' Teaser Trailer from Wingard & Barrett". firstshowing.net. Retrieved June 27, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Anderton, Ethan (August 6, 2014). "Watch: Indie Action Thriller 'The Guest' Gets a Great Second Trailer". firstshowing.net. Retrieved August 7, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Weinberg, Scott. "FEARNET Movie Review: 'The Guest'". Fearnet. Retrieved March 13, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "The Guest (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 28, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "'The Guest'". www.metacritic.com. Retrieved September 6, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "The Guest – Review". A.V. Club. Retrieved February 22, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "The Guest – Review". Bloody Good Horror. Retrieved February 22, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "The Guest (2014) – International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "The Guest (2014) – Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "BloodGuts UK Horror". BloodGuts UK Horror. Retrieved January 17, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "Awards". Detroit Film Critics Society. Retrieved January 17, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=43825
  29. "Golden Schmoes Winners and Nominees (2014)". Retrieved January 17, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "Nominations BEST EDITING". Retrieved January 17, 2016. horizontal tab character in |title= at position 13 (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. "The Academy of Science Fiction Fantasy and Horror Films". Retrieved January 17, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. "The Guest (Soundtrack, digital download)". Amazon (US). Retrieved December 24, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. "'The Guest' Soundtrack Details". http://filmmusicreporter.com. September 5, 2014. Retrieved September 6, 2014. External link in |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links