The Guest, film review: Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens turns psychopath

(15) Adam Wingard, 100 mins Starring: Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe
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The Independent Culture

This may be a retrograde adolescent wish-fulfilment fantasy, sadistic and violent, but it's also slickly made and has real satirical bite.

Dan Stevens is a long way from Downton Abbey as the discharged Iraq war veteran who wreaks havoc in small-town America after turning up uninvited at a fallen comrade's home. He's a psychopath but a well-spoken one, with a poise and charm that makes us root for him even at his homicidal worst.

Stevens plays David in a manner that seems inspired in equal measure by Ryan Gosling's effortlessly cool outsider in Drive and by Clint Eastwood's man-with-no-name routine.

Wingard's claims that the film is intended to expose the reality of post-traumatic stress syndrome are laughable but he has a magpie-like flair for taking ideas from other movies (everything from The Manchurian Candidate to The Terminator and The Night of the Hunter) that rekindles memories of Tarantino.