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The Guest tells the story of David, a polite and charming Afghanistan veteran who appears on the Peterson family’s doorstep, claiming to be a comrade of their dead son, Caleb. This film has taken a while to reach us in this part of the world, and since the last collaboration from writer Simon Barrett and director Adam Wingard was the stunning home-invasion film You’re Next — the wait has felt especially long. It's been worth it.
Moving from home invasion to hospitality didn’t deny Barrett and Wingard the opportunity to flex their horror-cinema muscles, because there is plenty here to thrill. Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens is a magnetic screen presence as David. Watching him worm his way into the Peterson’s lives is both entertainingly ominous and pays off handsomely in the gripping second half of the film. The Guest is a well-constructed thriller that cements Barrett and Wingard as a film making partnership to watch.
The Guest is in cinemas nationally on July 23.