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Guest, The


Stars: Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Sheila Kelley, Lance Reddick, Brendan Meyer, Ethan Embry, Leland Orser, Joel David Moore

Director: Adam Wingard

A slimmed-down, buffed-up Stevens is far from Downton Abbey here, exuding steely menace and sporting a carefully-prepared American accent, as a somewhat strange ex-soldier who turns up at the residence of a small-town family purporting to be the comrade of their older son, who has been killed in action in the Middle East.

He soon seems to appoint himself as the family benefactor and guardian - with violent and sometimes lethal consequences. But the family daughter (Monroe) smells a genetically-engineered rat and makes a few phone calls that lead to a bullet-strewn climax.

It's efficient if derivative stuff (the finale includes a shoot-out in a hall of mirrors) whose images are on the clunky side - nor can it resist a ludicrous twist at the end just when everything has seemed satisfactorily resolved. Actress-turned-fitness guru Sheila Kelley makes a welcome reappearance as the mother, after some years away from the cameras.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Icon. Colour (unspecified).
99 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 03 Sep 2014