A teaser trailer has been released for The Guest, the upcoming movie from screenwriter Simon Barret and director Adam Wingard – the duo who made a splash last year, with their cheeky horror/thriller throwback You’re Next. Early reviews for The Guest, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, suggest that this film is very much the handiwork of horror cinema enthusiasts with a rich knowledge of the genre (see: the heavy 1970s/80s horror movie influences on You’re Next).
However, the structure of The Guest teaser arguably portrays the film as being an indie film cousin to Chan-wook Park’s U.S. arthouse debut, Stoker – rather than, say, an homage to John Carpenter’s early work and/or such 1980s stalker/slasher titles as The Hitcher – with Dan Stevens (a graduate of Downton Abbey academy) playing the Hitchcockian archetype that is the handsome stranger, who not-so-secretly may have a dark side. (To be fair, Stoker wasn’t exactly a box office hit, so most folk probably won’t make that connection.)
As outlined in the teaser clip, The Guest revolves around David (Stevens), a soldier back from war, who introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to have been a friend of their son (who died while serving in the military). Unfortunately, the Petersons aren’t versed in horror movie conventions well enough that they know better than to trust a good-looking nice guy, who shows up at their door out of the blue. But does David really have something to do with a series of seemingly accidental deaths, which starts happening shortly after his arrival at the Peterson’s home?
You’re Next went over especially well with horror film buffs – and by the sound of it, The Guest should also please the fans of Barrett and Wingard’s past work. Variety‘s review, for example, calls the film a “willfully over-the-top, giddily violent exercise” and notes that “the pic is a real kick for genre fans,” while The Playlist describes The Guest as being “a great-looking and sincere genre throwback” – one featuring the sort of “over-the-top bloodletting” in its third act that gorehounds in particular, out to be quite pleased by. (There’s a good reason this film made Screen Rant’s horror specialist Perri Nemiroff’s 20 Most Anticipated Horror Movies of 2014 countdown.)
The Guest‘s supporting cast includes Maika Monroe (Labor Day), Brendan Meyer (Mr. Young), Lance Reddick (Fringe), and Joel David Moore (Bones), among others.
The Guest is expected to reach U.S. theaters by Fall 2014.