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The Perfect Host


Jeff Nelson

The Perfect Host isn't bad, but is a missed opportunity.

The Perfect Host
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American moviegoers have all witnessed the psychological thriller. These films almost always end with one or more twists. This has been true for both big Hollywood flicks and indie films. While movies in the past have executed this formula very well, it gets a bit tiresome after many years of the same technique. When the trailer was released for The Perfect Host, I was drawn to it due to the strange nature of the entire concept. However, it isn't quite as different as I expected it to be.

A fugitive on the run decides to crash a dinner party. He seriously regrets it when the mysterious and unusual host soon has him convinced he would have been better off hiding somewhere else. This is the story of a fugitive criminal who has found something worse than what he escaped from. The entire atmosphere isn't strictly one sees in a psychological thriller. There's a lot of dark comedy thrown into the mix. The first thirty minutes or so certainly grab the attention of the audience. Unfortunately, things go downhill from there. Not only do the dialogue and interactions between the leads drag, but they get repetitive. Multiple twists and turns are revealed at the end of the film. Almost all of them can be easily predicted. Some of the odd occurrences taking place at the dinner party are amusing, but aren't enough to make up for the moments where the film limps. Be prepared for a hefty amount of unusual dialogue.

Most of The Perfect Host centers only around John Taylor, the fugitive, and Warwick Wilson, the host. The performances are the best part of the film. Clayne Crawford represents John Taylor very naturally. In the beginning of the film, we are led to believe that he is a complete low life. This will lead many to ask themselves why they are expected to have sympathy for a criminal. As the story line continues, the viewer learns more about what led him to become a burglar in the first place. Crawford successfully manages to receive the audience's empathy. David Hyde Pierce steals the show as the insane host, Warwick Wilson. He's a very talented actor and displays his skills yet again, but in an entirely different role.

Only a few small portions of the movie take place outside of Warwick's house. Despite what some people may expect, the film looks polished. The Perfect Hostwas only in theaters for an extremely limited amount of time with no advertising. This is a dialogue driven affair and doesn't have many effects. The audio track is what I expected. Dialogue is clear and easy to follow as it remains in the center channel. The subwoofer only makes its presence known in music playing during Warwick's party. The surround speakers are used rarely for ambiance.

Who would expect greatness from The Perfect Host? I was hoping for a film that offered something different. The first portion of the motion picture is interesting and well-done. However, quite a few flaws make themselves known later into the running time. Most of the 'big reveals' at the end are extremely predictable. Fortunately, the performances are good. A film that could have been different has ended up just like the rest. The Perfect Host isn't bad, but is a missed opportunity.

My Rating = Two and One Half Stars

Next movie: Defiance
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