Second Sight Films have been doing some excellent work in releasing special and limited editions of much-loved, or perhaps under-seen genre films. So far, films such as Raw, Host, The Babadook and Revenge have been given the Second Sight treatment and the results have been consistently incredible, with exciting new extras included in the gorgeous packaging.
The latest to receive a shiny new edition is The Guest, Adam Wingard’s violent, neon-drenched thriller starring Dan Stevens. Stevens plays David, a mysterious stranger who shows up at the Petersons’ doorstep one day, claiming to have served in the military with their late son. Anna (Maika Monroe) is intrigued but suspicious while Luke (Brendan Meyer) craves a strong male companion. Their mother (Sheila Kelley) is desperate for a connection after the loss of her son while their father (Leland Orser) is impressed by David’s manners and physicality. But is David who he claims to be? I’ll give you one guess.
Wingard’s film is pure dynamite and adrenaline. It’s fun, energetic and most importantly, self-aware. All the cast are in on Wingard and writer Simon Barrett’s fun and while the film doesn’t necessarily have that much to say about grief or loss, who cares when you’re having this much fun when watching it. The film is undoubtedly silly and Wingard stretches the viewer’s ability to suspend disbelief, but if you’re willing to buy into all the ambiguity and silliness, The Guest provides excellent thrills and even some chills.
The entire cast is solid, with Stevens doing most of the heavy lifting. His David is appropriately mysterious, sexy and intimidating. There is a sense of threat around him, something almost unnatural that you can’t shake. Maika Monroe is also excellent even if Barrett’s script doesn’t allow her to do much. Brendan Meyer is also good as the doe-eyed youngster who finds a much-needed friend and mentor in David, even if it’s clear from the beginning it won’t be a healthy friendship.
Wingard’s stylish direction combined with Barrett’s tight script make for a perfect genre movie. At times, The Guest trips up on its own convoluted backstory, but at 100 minutes, never overstays its welcome. The violence is reminiscent of Nicolas Winding Refn’s hyper violent films and while its neon-coloured look might feel a tad dated in 2021, it was and remains ridiculously cool.
The new edition comes with a 4K UHD version, a Blu-Ray disc and the film’s soundtrack which is full of bangers. There are plenty of new extras and interviews with the cast and crew and not one, but two commentaries by Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard. One of these is a brand new one and the other is the original 2014 one. The box also includes a hefty book with essays from critics and journalists, making this the most comprehensive edition of the film released so far.
The Guest is now available from Second Sight Films.