The Guest

2014review_missed

As I said in the intro for our list of the year’s best films, 2014 has been a fantastic year at the movies.There was a lot to love, and that means there were a lot of films that simply didn’t make the cut on our other “Best of 2014″ lists. The fourteen movies below didn’t get much love during the year and failed to make much of a dent at the box-office, but they’re very much worth seeking out on Blu-ray, DVD, Netflix, iTunes or anywhere else unloved movies go to rest.

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2014_review_action

There were some fantastically great action films released in 2014, but 2014 was not a great year for action films. The horror genre had no such shortage (as evidenced by the greatness occupying our list of the year’s best) and you can probably name several comedies that had you busting a gut in 2014, but action films? There weren’t very many, and what there was rarely impressed. But sometimes you find great action in less than great movies, and with that understanding I was able to find 14 movies that fit the bill as the Best Action Films of 2014. Well, almost.

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The Guest

The Guest is a serious person movie. Or it least it looks that way, from the first teaser trailer. Because the previous film from The Guest‘s creative team (director/editor Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett) was You’re Next. And You’re Next was totally not a serious person movie, unless they’ve changed the definition of “serious,” and now movies with exploding brain-blenders and a guy who gets stabbed with like fifty screwdrivers are no longer campy. The Guest seems slightly more elevated. Although the two premises are basically the same thing: a typical American family, beset upon by psychos. This time, it’s the Petersons, who’ve recently lost a son in Afghanistan and aren’t doing so well. Enter David (Dan Stevens), a kind soldier who served with their son and has come back to make good on a promise made on the battlefield. Reluctantly, the Petersons accept this new addition to their lives, and soon this military stranger is a welcome part of their big, happy family. Oh, and also he has serial killer eyes and is probably murdering people or something.

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review the guest

The Peterson family lost their oldest son Caleb to the war in Afghanistan, and the four remaining members have carried on in their grief. A brief respite comes in the form of an unexpected visitor named David (Dan Stevens) who served with the family’s son/brother and was with him when he died. He’s come to share Caleb’s last words and to fulfill his promise to help the family in any way he can. Each member of the family finds a friend in David as he offers a shoulder, an ear, or a pair of fists. Mom (Sheila Kelley) needs consolation, and dad (Leland Orser) is having trouble at work. Luke (Brendan Meyer) is being bullied at school, and Anna (Maika Monroe) is struggling with a relationship she’s hiding from her parents. Luckily David has a solution for all of their problems. The Guest bears a happy similarity to You’re Next in every way but the narrative. The tone blends between thriller and comedy, with a heavy tilt toward the latter, and not even the script’s multiple hiccups can’t deflate the film’s sense of fun.

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You

According to Variety, the team that made the home invasion horror flick You’re Next (which will hit theaters at SXSW and see a release in August) and planning to reunite for an action thriller called The Guest. Director Adam Wingard and screenwriter Simon Barrett (who’ve previously collaborated on V/H/S and A Horrible Way to Die) are making the film with Snoot Entertainment producers Jessica Wu and Keith Calder. This film, expected to go into production in May, will focus on a soldier harboring some dangerous secrets who is taken into the household of a dead colleague’s family.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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