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The Guest (2014)

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A soldier introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence.



1,079 ( 399)
4 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Luke Peterson
Laura Peterson
Spencer Peterson
Major Carver
Mr. Lyles
Fireman (as Matt Page)


A soldier introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He's here to help. See more »


Mystery | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language, some drug use and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

5 September 2014 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Gost  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$84,527 (USA) (19 September 2014)


$322,600 (USA) (17 October 2014)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Dan Stevens was completely emaciated when he first met with film-makers Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett because he had lost 30 pounds to star in A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014). They really wanted him for the role but were worried about his appearance because they wanted a really buff soldier physique for the lead character. Wingard said that Stevens looked like Christian Bale in The Machinist (2004) but they wanted him to look like Christian Bale in Batman Begins (2005). However, they gave him the role after Stevens promised that he would workout like mad and bulk up for the role. The day he was cast, he was assigned personal trainers and dietitians to begin his physical transformation for the role. He worked out daily for 2 hours a day, even during shooting eventually putting on 25 pounds of muscle and building six pack abs for his shirtless scene. The scene was scheduled in the last week of principal photography so that he got as much time as possible to build up his physique. He was cast just a month before principal photography began and the shoot was two months long giving him about 3 months to prepare for his the scene. Stevens said that it was the first time in his career that he had done serious body-building for a role and he was thrilled by the aesthetic appearance of his body in this film. He said it also allowed him to break his former image as a chubby & restrained English gent on Downton Abbey (2010) and surprise audiences by crafting an image of a shirtless macho soldier. Wingard pointed out that Stevens' body shape significantly changes from scene to scene. This is because the film was shot out of sequence and Stevens was still training throughout the shoot, so that he appeared frail in some scenes and very muscular in others. Wingard and Barrett said that Stevens' shirtless scene was one of the most important scenes in the movie because they knew it was going to be a major selling point and a sure-fire trailer shot and they spent more time shooting this scene than any other. Wingard said that he "wanted to sexually objectify and fetishize Dan Stevens' shirtless body in this shot as it went with the playful nature of the movie where the audience was subversively being asked to ogle at body of the bad boy character. The film-makers scheduled that scene as late as possible because they wanted Stevens' body in "optimum condition". In preparation for that scene, Stevens shaved his chest and tanned his body so that all his muscle definition could be seen. In addition, Wingard said that to deepen the muscle definition even further, the trainers had Stevens do a trick where "he did not consume any food or water for a day, and then just before the shot, he drank a diet coke and did 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups". This tightened up his muscles and made his veins stand out giving him the super-ripped appearance that the film-makers wanted. The shot was then subsequently used in all the trailers and publicity materials for the film. See more »


In the beginning of the movie, when Mrs. Peterson invites David into the house, the first thing she asks him is, "So, are you sure I can't get you anything?" when the only thing she had previously asked him was "Would you like to come inside?" See more »


[first lines]
Spencer Peterson: Are you done with your breakfast?
Luke Peterson: Yeah.
Spencer Peterson: Let's do this thing.
See more »


Featured in Projector: The Guest (2014) See more »


Because I Love You
Written by Warren Allen Brooks
Performed by Stevie B
Published by Myat Publishing (BMI),
R2M Music (BMI), Songs off Lastrada (BMI)
Stevie B appears Courtesy of LMR Records
Courtesy of Lastrada Entertainment /
BMG Rights Management (USA) LLC.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the most stylish and fun thrillers of the decade.
13 May 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's a bold statement but I stand by it. This movie had everything I wanted and a hell of a lot more. The plot in a nutshell is that a guy named David (Dan Stevens) goes to the house of a soldier who was KIA and claims to have known him personally, so the family invites him to stay. Then things start happening, secrets come out, and sh*t goes down. Simple premise, and if it sounds familiar it's probably because it's been done many times, but never quite with as much finesse as The Guest.

The writer and director are the same team that brought us You're Next and a few segments from V/H/S and V/H/S/2. Personally I loved You're Next - it was a straight up horror comedy with little to no surprises. Here, the duo hone their strengths into their magnum opus so to speak. The Guest is an action thriller, but there are a lot more elements at work. It's dramatic, it's funny, it's intense, and it gets pretty frightening at times. The scope seems very wide but it all flows together without a hitch, and each emotional reaction keeps your eyes glued to the screen waiting for what happens next.

The Guest is held together by its lead, Dan Stevens. I haven't seen him in anything before this but he was flawless in this role as an enigmatic, seemingly charming family friend. David is immensely likable, even when questionable things start happening you still want to root for the guy. He just has a badass aura around him. Dan Stevens plays him with such conviction that you can't see through him and you have no idea what is going on in his head, but you know that there's more to him than meets the eye.

When I say sh*t goes down in this movie, I mean it. Sh*t. Goes. Down. I won't spoil anything but The Guest has one of the most stylish, suspenseful, colorful, and downright invigorating third acts in a movie I've seen in a while. It's f*cking magnificent. Some people are split on this opinion but honestly, I thought it was an absolute blast. It takes place in a Halloween fun house; as soon as it began I turned into a giddy schoolgirl. Yeah, it's just that much fun. The first two acts are impeccable as well, building up the tension and suspense to a level of tangibility that you can cut with a knife.

The characters surrounding David are all great as well. They're your typical family, and although it may seem like they're just caricatures, they are completely convincing in their roles largely due to the realistic dialogue. Everything progresses believably and exactly how you'd want it to, and the predictability is a strength in this case because it gives the filmmakers a chance to make the simple premise as shiny and creative as possible. I was not bored for a minute of this movie. The soundtrack is phenomenal too - it has an '80s thriller vibe and a lot of dark electronic grooves similar to those in You're Next but even better.

The Guest is an action-thriller buff's wet dream, and it even throws in some horror for good measure. It really is one of the most underrated movies of 2014 and an experience that no thriller fan should miss out on.

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