THE PERFECT HOST, 2011
Starring: David Hyde Pierce, Clayne Crawford, Nathaniel Parker, Megahn Perry, Joseph Will
A criminal on the run cons his way into the wrong dinner party where the host is anything but ordinary.
Finally. America has been patient and now the weight has been lifted. We have dreamed of this day ever since the finale of “Frasier.” Not since John Travolta in Pulp Fiction has there been such an impressing reemergence into the lime light. David Hyde Pierce is back!
“The Perfect Host” is about a bank robber, named John (Clayne Crawford), who tries to avoid the authorities by crashing a dinner party. He enters the home of Warwick Wilson (David Hyde Pierce) and pretends to be a friend of a friend of Warwick’s. After a while, John’s identify is discovered and he is forced to become hostile towards the seemingly innocent Warwick. Then John passes out from a drugged red wine and the movie’s hook is revealed. Warwick is insane.
John wakes up tied to a chair at the dinner table and Warwick’s party is in full swing. Are the guests terrified to see a drugged bank robber forced to dine with them? Nope, because they don’t exist. Warwick sees them, but in reality, he’s serving food to the air. As Warwick mixes drinks and serves roast duck, he shows John a photo album of previous dinner parties. He has had other forced guests at previous parties that he has tortured to death. John is now rightfully terrified. As Warwick dances around and chit chats with the middle space, John has flashbacks of how he got into this situation. Apparently, he has a terminally ill girlfriend and his criminal activity grew out of love.
This is not a good movie. I just want to get that out of the way. It’s not insane enough to be memorable and its story isn’t tight enough to be clever. There are a lot of reveals and twists throughout that are not airtight enough to seem plausible. You’ll end up questioning the characters’ intentions rather than being satisfied with what you’ve seen. Here’s the neat part though, I was never bored. I was entertained from beginning to end.
This film does something more films should do. It didn’t play it safe. There’s a ridiculously convoluted plot with twist after twist that really swings for the fences. That’s why this movie will always be better than “Green Lantern” or “Burke and Hare.” The two leads do give it their all. If the writing was tighter, David High Pierce would be the talk of the town. He’s absolutely delightful. He seems to slip in and out of insanity with such ease. Clayne Crawford holds his own against the boisterous Pierce. It’s tough to be noticed when you’re the straight man in a movie that has a larger than life character. Ask Edward Norton in “Fight Club” or Christian Bale in “The Dark Knight.”
If you’re interested in this whacky psychological thriller, by all means, rent it. You probably be entertained. If you’re looking for the next “Momento” or “Funny Games” this isn’t it and If you’re looking for some disturbing torture scenes, this isn’t it either. It’s a fairly tame “R.” But if you’re a David High Pierce fan, stop whatever you’re doing right now, and seek out “The Perfect Host.”
GOOFY PLOT TWIST SPOILERS:
-Warwick doesn’t actually kill John. He knocks him out and applies make up to make him look like his throat was slit. Okay, why?
The girlfriend isn’t ill. She was faking it so John would rob the bank. She was planning on skipping town and pinning the robbery on John. Okay, bitch. How long was she planning this?
Warwick is actually a lieutenant at the police department. He also has a small group of imaginary police friends follow him around. None of the detectives realize he’s insane. He’s good at juggling work and play.
Warwick catches John as a police officer and lets him go. He takes the money John has stolen and arrests John’s girlfriend. That’s going to be hard to cover up.
John is a chess wizard. Not so much a twist, just something to think about.
CLICK the LINKS and EXPLORE