Arriving from nowhere and probably, due to its low marketing budget and lack of big names, heading back there in a matter of days, The Guest is a tremendous, bonkers and deliriously retro thriller that's the perfect antidote to the pompous pish that's hogging screen space at cinemas in this arid swathe of the movie calendar. It's absolute rubbish, but it's the most gloriously entertaining rubbish I've seen for an achingly long time.
It's hard to judge how far horror hacks Simon Barrett (writing) and Adam Wingard (directing) intend The Guest to be deliberately funny: it's not a comedy by any stretch, but it's packed full of more cheese than a Frenchman's fridge, and given the right circumstances - say, a Friday night in a packed cinema after a few beers - it nails a tone that renders it insanely joyous. The mood is defiantly '80s, bolstered by a terrific synth score that sounds like the b-sides of everything on the Drive soundtrack and a wodge of cheerfully ironic slo-mo sequences (two words: laundry basket). Nods to the likes of Commando and The Terminator abound, and it's that audience - the one that's been disappointed by the failure of the Expendables films to recapture a schlocky, Cannon-era '80s spirit - that will invite The Guest into their hearts. There's a latticework of plot holes and a disappointing attempt to explain exactly what the chuff is going on, but if it's a worthy chin-stroker you're after then you're in the wrong film. I'm sure Night Moves is still on somewhere.
Distributors Icon can't hope to slay the box office with The Guest, but the film is destined to find its true purpose in the home entertainment market. Until then, it is incumbent upon you all to seek it out at your nearest picture house before it disappears, so that come next week - if there's any justice in the world - all of us are talking about it.