Under any normal circumstance, most of us would be more than happy to see Dan Stevens show up unannounced on our doorsteps; even if you’re only familiar with Downton Abbey through pop culture osmosis, the English up and comer cuts a dashing, well-mannered figure just by introducing himself. Any betting man would peg him as the ideal lodger. But Stevens’ sudden appearance should raise immediate red flags for characters in Adam Wingard movies. People are so rarely what they seem in his body of work.

Case in point: The Guest, Wingard’s new film and Stevens’ latest jaunt on the big screen this year. Here, Stevens plays David, a strong but silent type of charmer, an ex soldier discharged from service in Afghanistan who inveigles his way into the family home of a fallen comrade. David’s cool demeanor, piercing eyes, and bottomless reserves of politeness make him a welcome addition to the Peterson clan – he lends his martial skills to the aid of bullied son Luke (Brendan Meyer), and his chiseled good looks work some degree of magic on daughter Anna (Maika Monroe).

But there’s something off with David, at least according to the new trailer above, even if nobody can quite figure out what. Somehow, The Guest takes us from that aforementioned point A to a point B where rough men, heavily armed and armored, are turning the Peterson’s house into a pile of splinters. There’s a novelty to the notion of watching Matthew Crawley bust skulls and go gun crazy, but the real draw here may be the central mystery surrounding his character.

The Guest has been teased at before. This fresh clip expounds in slightly greater detail on what we should expect from the film; those who actually bought a ticket to Wingard’s most recent film, the deconstructive 2013 slasher You’re Next, may have an even clearer idea of what the V/H/S (and V/H/S/2) contributor has in store this go round. There’s a heaping helping of havoc, for certain, and – based on early Sundance reviews – some strong action sequences, but what else?

Maybe Wingard has a through line of commentary about military veterans; maybe The Guest joins in the genre tradition of critiquing society through a fantastical lens. Or maybe it’s just a really good thriller with spectacular fight scenes, anchored by an unexpected turn from Stevens. If the latter, it won’t be the last time in 2014 (see: A Walk Among the Tombstones), but it might be the only time he’s so front and center in a movie that seems so far outside his typical mode.

The Guest hits theaters on September 17th, 2014.

Source: Yahoo! Movies