Friday, September 9, 2011

The Perfect Host (B)

When I first saw the trailers for The Perfect Host way back in early February, I thought it looked like the art house version of a Saw film: A small time crook attempts to lay low after a bank robbery goes horribly wrong by pretending to be the friend of friend of a wealthy socialite who is throwing a dinner party for himself and his psychotic friends in which the crook is brutally tortured for the entertainment of the guests. Because of this off putting premise, (along with the fact that I'm a self admitted scardy cat when it comes to home invasion movies) I waited to watch the film until I was in the comfort of my own home.

After viewing the film, I can honestly say that the off putting marketing campaign was the only way to market this movie to any audience. The Perfect Host is a gleefully deranged black-comedy/horror/thriller/heist/torture porn/cop film. If you've never heard of a movie that contains all of those elements, don't worry; this is a one of a kind type of film. With David Hyde Pierce playing the insane preppy psychopath with a never ending smile scratched across his face, this movie is a delight to watch just for his performance. He has the impossible task to be the bridge that connects these multiple genres together while also being the most compelling villain in recent memory, and he does these two tasks phenomenally well.

Because David Hyde Pierce's performance is so great, it's a real shame that writer and director Nick Tomnay (in his film debut in both tasks) shoves in too many unnecessary twists which muddle the plot. While one great reveal towards the beginning of the film brings the plot into darker and much more surreal territory, it seems that Tomnay wasn't content on ending the twists then. There is a shot where the film could've easily ended on, but it keeps going just so that two more twists can be added. It is because of these final two twists that the film sputters out in a clumsy groan inducing final scene, so bad that it almost knocked my grade of the film down to a C+.

It's hard to discuss too much more about this film, simply because if you know any of the twists that happen in this film, and there are a lot, you're enjoyment will most likely be completely ruined. I went into the film knowing near nothing about it, and it turned out to be a fun ride. If I did know any of the twists, I doubt I would've enjoyed it nearly as much as I did. While it is way too reliant on twists, David Hyde Pierce gives a performance for the ages which made the movie the enjoyable genre mashup it was.

Grade: B

*Just a random note. The actor who plays the crook (Clayne Crawford) looks like a young Ray Liotta to a distracting degree. People reading this should look up a picture of Clayne Crawford and check. It's kinda insane.


  1. I really wanted to see this film, but it only stayed in theaters for a week. I'm still looking forward to it!

  2. I sought this one out for David Hyde Pierce and he delivered 100%. You are right - the movie itself has too many twists, it became ridiculous. But Pierce alone is worth the rental. And by the way, I think Clayne Crawford reminded me more of Rick Shroder than Ray Liotta, but I do see the resemblance!

    Welcome to LAMB!

  3. I had to look a picture of Rick Shroder up, but I can definitely see where you're coming from. They do look a lot alike!