The Guest (Blu-ray Review)

The GuestYou know that expression that says “you had me at hello”?  Well the same train of thought can be applied here with this title, The Guest, because it is billed as “from the creators of You’re Next.”  They really did have me at hello there – hook, line and sinker.  Even though I have never seen The Guest as of yet before this Blu-ray viewing, that one line “from the creators of You’re Next” was all it took to make me want to see it almost like a tantalizing dish of your favorite food placed in front of you.  It was a craving I could not deny and I just had to give myself to it.  Call it brilliant marketing, call it what you want.  It worked on me!  So before we move on here I just want to take a quick moment for a word from our sponsor and say that The Guest Blu-ray Combo Pack will be released on January 6th from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.  Now we can begin!

The Guest


All in all, walking into The Guest blindly it’s hard to argue with a Rotten Tomatoes “certified fresh” critical score of 91%.  That many critics couldn’t be wrong, could they?  I didn’t think they could.  However, before I jump the gun and talk about how awesome The Guest is, let’s get back to basics first so I can make sure I cover everything on my Blu-ray review checklist.

The Guest arrives with a log line of “A mysterious stranger befriends a grieving family, but his hidden past soon puts them all in danger.”  It’s billed as an edgy suspense, but most importantly it comes from director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett, the masterminds behind the award-winning modern horror tale You’re Next.  The Guest stars Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey, A Walk Among the Tombstones) and a talented supporting cast of Maika Monroe (Labor DayThe Bling Ring), Sheila Kelley (Lost, Gossip Girl), Leland Orser (Taken, 24) and Lance Reddick (John Wick, Fringe).

So if You’re Next was this duo’s brilliant entry into the horror world, then it makes sense that The Guest be set in an action one, right?  Of course it does!  Actor Dan Stevens delivers a line in the Q&A section of the Extras where he perfectly sums up this film in one sentence.  For fear of spoiling it for anyone who has not seen this film, I will not repeat it.  However, make sure you watch the very brief Q&A when you are done with your viewing and I think you’ll agree with me.

So our story revolves around David Collins (Stevens), who was recently discharged from the military.  He unexpectedly shows up at the Peterson family’s doorstep, claiming to be their late son’s buddy from the army.  While the filmmakers waste no time at all in establishing what I just said in the actual film it did feel a bit rushed, but at the same time I was also perfectly fine with it.  With a film like this let’s get the good times rolling as soon as possible I always say.  So after some awkwardness David is welcomed into their home.  The well-mannered stranger quickly wins them all over (there were a few bumps in the road) and becomes part of the family.  Every thing is fine and awkward at times (I use the term awkward a lot to describe things in here, but in a good way) until a shocking wave of violence raises daughter Anna’s (Monroe) suspicions that the mysterious ex-soldier is not quite what he seems.  She sets in motion what quickly becomes a new movie in its entirety as things are turned over in the Act 2 midpoint and like before, let the good times and awkwardness continue to roll. There’s lots of fun to be had here.

Alright, let’s talk about the awkwardness here.  There’s lots of creepiness and polite mannerisms to go around here that Dan’s character will win you over with his charm and chivalry, but at the same time there’s a storm brewing inside of him.  His character’s mannerisms, while very polite as already established, are equally awkward and quick witted too in the way he presents himself.  And honestly, he kind reminds you of a cool, mysterious looking Ryan Gosling from Drive.  You just want one of him in your life.  However, this is all part of the fun for seeing The Guest for the first time.  I was sitting there for the first hour loving every minute of it, but also wondering where the hell is this going to take us.  Something revolutionary has to happen and rest assured it does.  While I would not call The Guest an original story, I will say this.  Like You’re Next, if you let yourself go with this one, you’ll have an awesome time with it.  There’s plenty of fun to go around even in multiple viewings in my opinion.

What’s even better this time around with the filmmaking duo is the acting.  It’s strong and rather unsettling throughout.  I use that latter term in a good way to portray the quiet storm brewing though the first two Acts and the awkwardness of many onscreen events.  Things get hella crazy, in a good way, once we get to Act 3.  It becomes fast and frenzied almost in a Shoot ‘Em Up kind of way.  All of this makes me a repeat customer of The Guest.  I really can’t say enough good things about The Guest.  I highly recommend you inviting him in at least for a two hour stay.  What do you say?

The Guest


Say what you want about the film, I could not find a thing wrong with the video presentation here.  For what it is, it’s spectacular.

  • Encoding: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Layers: Dual BD-50
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Clarity/Detail: Despite some dimly lit scenes, the clarity and detail here throughout is razor sharp and amazing.  You will notice every stubble on actors’ faces, stucco pits on the walls, strands of flowing hair, etc.  It’s all rendered crisp and for the taking.
  • Depth: The onscreen characters literally pop right off the screen here with three-dimensionality clarity ad zest producing some very deep backgrounds even in tight interior spaces.  I couldn’t be more pleased here in this category.
  • Black Levels: The black levels, for the most part, are all dark, inky and dreamy like Dan’s Blu-ray eyes.  Oops!  I’m jumping ahead of myself.  Dan’s dreamy Blu-ray eyes belongs in the colors section below.
  • Color Reproduction: The colors range here from scene to scene.  If it’s cloudy or dimly lit, obviously the palette is murky.  However, when sunlight is allowed to creep in or the neons are glowing the colors really pop here.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones are all natural and authentic looking throughout.
  • Noise/Artifacts: I did not notice one distancing thing about this print.  It’s free of any dirt and debris and once again, I couldn’t be happier with the way things look here.

The Guest


Unlike the video presentation discussed up above, things were almost near perfect here.  It does, however, come pretty damn close to a 5-doggy score.  Let’s take a closer look at why.

  • Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
  • Dynamics: Remember me talking about the quiet storm brewing within the first two Acts here.  Well, you’ll feel that in the audio presentation.  Things are eerily quiet here for a good chunk of the movie before the onscreen action and chaos erupts.  However, it’s also during these quiet times where the score will cue itself brilliantly tipping us off that there’s something more to David than initially meets eye.  There’s something perhaps not right in his head.  The dynamics of this track make that apparently known.
  • Low Frequency Extension: I was worried here because the LFE light was off for a good chunk of Act 1, but fret not.  Things literally explode here from the infectious score to the grenade explosions, raining bullet sprays and breaking of endless glass and whatnot.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Wow!  Like the LFE up above I was initially worried here that perhaps this surround track was dead on arrival.  Just wait.  When the action kicks in you’ll ducking for cover as bullets zing by you and glass breaks all around you.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: Interestingly enough, here’s where I stumble.  While most of the dialogue was clear and intelligible, there were some moments that were not that I just couldn’t make out making this an oh so close near perfect score.  In the words of the might prophet Jack Bauer.  “Dammit!”

The Guest


The Guest Blu-ray Combo Pack includes behind-the-scenes bonus features that unravel the secrets of this intense thrill ride with the following three supplements listed and dissected below complete with BD-Live.  But wait!  There’s more!  Within this Universal Blu-ray Combo Pack not only lies the feature film on a separate DVD disc, but also there’s a redemption code good for the UltraViolet Digital HD version of the movie as well as the iTunes HD Digital Copy too.  Yahoo!  Like the movie, that is simply awesome!  C’mon!  let’s take a closer look as we invite The Guest‘s special features in.

  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 15:00) – The following deleted scenes can be found here with a Play All option as well as optional commentary too: Deleted Original Opening, Extended Introduction to Peterson Family, Anna Finds David’s Gun, Anna Meets David with Film Cut For Comparison, David Confronts Anna, Clown Gag and Zeke’s Bedroom.
  • Q & A with Dan Stevens (HD, 2:32) – This one was way too short.  While it was not a traditional Q&A session like the title would lead you to believe, actor Dan Stevens talks about what he thought about the script, how he was a big fan of You’re Next and also discusses the music and how it was devised way before the film was shot.  There’s also more too, but this one was way too brief in my opinion.
  • Feature Commentary – The audio commentary track on this one features Director Adam Wingard and Writer Simon Barrett.  So at least you know one thing going into this track.  You know you’re going to be diving deep into the film with these two brainiacs and you’re going to have a good time doing so.
  • Trailers (HD) – When I first inserted the Blu-ray disc I was presented with the following trailers: Nightcrawler, A Walk Among The Tombstones, The Scorpion King 4: The Quest For Power, Kill The Messenger and A Few Best Man.

The Guest


With a killer audio/video presentation, creepiness abound and an action packed thrill ride packaged into one plastic Blu-ray disc, why would you not invite The Guest into your home?  I was looking forward to this one for along time and thankfully it met my expectations and its silliness did not disappoint.  The sucky thing for y’all is that you have to wait until January 6th to bring this one home.  However, believe me.  It is oh so worth the wait!  Enjoy!  I know I will!


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The Guest



Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

1 Response to “The Guest (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    I love that you loved this movie!