Creep and The Guest are currently available on instant Netflix
Creep (2014) – Rated R
“When a videographer answers a Craigslist ad for a one-day job in a remote mountain town, he finds his client is not at all what he initially seems.”
“I got a really weird sense of humor, man. I’m really sorry about that.”
Creep is quite creepy. There is not much action and the film is basically about just the two main characters. If you like a slow burn thriller then this will fit the bill. Acting is quite good as it needs to be with (essentially) only two characters. Not only are Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass the only actors but they are the writers as well and Patrick Brice directed. Ofttimes it seems as though the two are just having a lot of fun but they do get the creep factor right and the movie is only an hour and seventeen minutes.
The Guest (2014) – Rated R
“A soldier introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence.”
I really enjoyed the home invasion horror romp You’re Next. It was directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett. It had plenty of suspense, gore, and humor so I was really looking forward to what these two would do next.
They did portions of the first two V/H/S movies. While I lauded the idea behind them, I thought the films were ridiculously uneven and, ultimately, forgettable. The next full film that the pair did was The Guest.
Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett now have a wonderful formula. It is not unlike M. Night Shyamalan in that you are waiting for the shoe to drop, i.e. the twist. The difference is that instead of being at the end of the film, Barrett’s twists are at the end of the first act.
The Guest and You’re Next are both horror/thriller movie setups that we have seen before. You’re Next is home invasion a la The Strangers while The Guest is the mysterious stranger type of film. The twist is that in each case, someone is not at all who they appear to be. The Guest is every bit as fresh, in spite of the setup, and delightful as You’re Next. There is a high level of violence in both films as is appropriate for their plots.
Acting is quite good. The female lead is Anna Peterson, played by new scream queen Maika Monroe (It Follows). Here, while quite good, she doesn’t have to carry the movie but also doesn’t have as much opportunity to shine as in It Follows. Perennial nice guy Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey’s Matthew Crawley) does a fabulous job as the creepy titular guest, David.
The rest of the cast is just fine. Leland Orser (Taken) and Sheila Kelley (L.A. Law) play Anna’s parents and Brendan Meyer, her brother. Tabatha Shaun is notable as her best friend. Lance Reddick lends some heft in the final act, even if his character makes a series of questionable calls.
The Guest is VERY highly recommended and I am very much looking forward to what this talented duo attempts next.