Dan Stevens as 'The Guest'

Dan Stevens as ‘The Guest’

Adam Wingard’s The Guest (Now on DVD from 29th December) follows the story of a soldier named David Collins who visits his comrades family to protect and comfort them. What seems like a charming man helping out soon takes an eery and horrific turn.

2014 has been full of exciting and boundary breaking films, but why has The Guest took the top spot? For one, it’s largely independent (despite having a small cinema release) meaning it was a lot more honest with its style. The film blurred a lot of styles together, incorporating hybrid genres such as horror, thriller and even 80’s slasher. The most enchanting thing about the film was that it held intertextuality from Adam Wingard’s previous film You’re Next, with the party goers wolf masks to the blood scribbled on the wall of the halloween maze reading ‘You’re Next’. He even (maybe unintentionally) paralleled certain scenes, such as broken glass in a leg or the need to survive in a cracked down situation. These elements are the building blocks of directors becoming auteurs, something really magical for a film goer to experience. So, if you haven’t watched You’re Next then this will mean nothing to you, but I’m not telling you the film was amazing because of intertextuality but that it had other 5 star elements like Dan Stevens.

Dan left Downton Abbey a while back, deciding to take on other ventures such as A Walk Among The Tombstones and Night At The Museum: Secret of the Tomb, he is without a doubt the stand out performance. His steely blue eyes and robotic expressions give him all the charm and chill of a perfect leading man. Maika Monroe and Brendan Meyer were also fantastic as both bewildered and suspicious youngsters caught up in David’s line of fire. An honourable mention also goes to the wonderful screenwriter Simon Barrett, who is quite a big inspiration of mine.

One other element that made the film stellar was its soundtrack. A lot of people forget that a soundtrack adds atmosphere and compliments the tone of a scene as with Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross’ Gone Girl soundtrack. The best thing about the funky 80’s tunes of The Guest is that it adds to the slasher halloween vibe and the aura of David, almost a ‘this film must be cool because so is the music’. It’s been mentioned before that the music reminds the viewer of Drive, another 80’s feel film with neon lights and an equally smouldering male lead. The main film this reminded me of however was Joe Wright’s mesmerising Hanna (one of my all time favourite films), without spoiling both films, both lead characters befriend a family and are results of strange experiments. However, their stories are subject to the consequences of a delusional society with militaristic views. Either way, The Guest was worth the four cinema trips I took to watch it.

Other mentions for great films this year go to: Guardians Of The Galaxy, Captain America:The Winter Soldier, Interstellar; Divergent, Under the Skin and White Bird In A Blizzard. 

Films to look forward to in 2015: Birdman, Into The Woods, The Voices, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hunger Games Mockingjay: Part 2 and Taken 3. 

Have a wonderful new year, hope this year brings happiness, health and good films!

Written by Abigail Remmer