Exclusive Look at THE GUEST and the Transformation of DOWNTON ABBEY’s Dan Stevens

by     Posted 88 days ago


The Guest opened in limited release last week and, after performing well, is platforming out into more theaters this weekend.  The new film from director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett (You’re Next, V/H/S/2, A Horrible Way to Die) is a lot of fun (as evidenced by this insanely cool trailer) and a big part of that is the swagger and southern charm that former Downton Abbey standout Dan Stevens brings to his role.  He’s an absolute badass here.  You can get a glimpse of that in this exclusive clip of him talking about his approach to the part.

Hit the jump to check out our exclusive clip for The Guest (and be sure to read Matt’s review along with my interview with Wingard and Barrett).  The film also stars Maika MonroeLeland OrserSheila KelleyBrendan Meyer, and Lance Reddick.  The Guest is now playing and expands to additional cities this Friday, September 27th.

THE GUEST Alternate Trailer Shows Exactly Why the Film is Badass

by     Posted 96 days ago


One of the things you may not know about The Guest is that it has some serious swagger.  Some of that vibe may be influenced by movies like Drive, but The Guest has much stronger characters and more humor than that film.  It’s funny, full of action, smart, and extremely stylish.  This new trailer, cut together by V/H/S/2 and Hobo With a Shotgun director Jason Eisener, perfectly demonstrates all of that.  It would be nice if a vehicle this substantive could be the thing that catapults Dan Stevens to domestic stardom, so I’m hoping audiences flock in droves to this new film from Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett.

Hit the jump to check out The Guest alternate trailer (and be sure to read Matt’s review along with my interview with Wingard and Barrett).  The film also stars Maika MonroeLeland OrserSheila KelleyBrendan Meyer, and Lance Reddick.  The Guest opens in U.S. theaters today, September 17th.  If you’re in one of the cities in which its playing, go ASAP.  If not, go next week.


by     Posted 97 days ago


[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  The Guest opens today in limited release.]

From 1974 to 1988, director John Carpenter was pretty much unstoppable. His films were scary, funny, strange, and thrilling. Adam Wingard’s The Guest feels like a lost Carpenter film from the director’s golden age. The picture effortlessly moves between a nerve-wracking mystery to a gleefully dark comedy, and at its best it even mixes the two together. While Wingard carries the Carpenter-esque tone by making excellent use of Robby Baumgartner’s cinematography and Stephen Moore’s score, his greatest asset is Dan Stevens’ tremendous lead performance. And even when the picture starts to get away from Wingard, it never ceases to be an entertaining ride.

Director Adam Wingard and Screenwriter Simon Barrett Talk THE GUEST, the Fallacy of Boring Art Films, and Their Quest to Evolve

by     Posted 97 days ago


The Guest is easily one of the best times you’ll have in a theater this year.  It’s funny, full of action, smart, and extremely stylish.  Three years ago I wouldn’t have thought Dan Stevens from Downton Abbey would be a contender as an action star/serious badass, but I would have been wrong.  He’s on fire here (as you can probably tell by the film’s trailer).  So are director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett (A Horrible Way to Die, V/H/S/2, You’re Next), who continue to mine the genre field and find interesting ways to make their material relatable and exciting.

I recently sat down with Wingard and Barrett to talk about the film.  I should note that I’ve interviewed the duo many times in the past, so I wanted to go a little bit off the beaten path with my questions here and focus solely on aspects of The Guest (and their career) that we hadn’t discussed before.  I also tried to dig a bit into what they’re next project is, but that question was answered far more successfully yesterday.  Hit the jump to check out the interview (and be sure to read Matt’s review).  The film also stars Maika MonroeLeland OrserSheila KelleyBrendan Meyer, and Lance Reddick.  The Guest opens in U.S. theaters tomorrow, September 17th.

YOU’RE NEXT and THE GUEST Filmmakers Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett to Remake I SAW THE DEVIL

by     Posted 98 days ago


I’ve long been fond of director Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett‘s collaborations (A Horrible Way to Die, V/H/S/, and You’re Next among them) and I think you guys will have a total fucking blast with The Guest.  So I’m definitely excited (and a little surprised) to learn that they will be tackling a remake of Kim Jee-Woon‘s modern masterpiece I Saw the Devil.  Though the original South Korean film was just released in 2010, I’m confident that Wingard and Barrett have what it takes to make an English language version of the story feel fresh and relevant.

In additional good news Keith Calder and Jessica Calder, who shepherded the duo’s last two features, will return to produce the film alongside Dredd producers Adi Shankar and Spencer Silna. If you’re at all a fan of serial killer films, you’ll want to check this out.  Hit the jump for more on the I Saw the Devil remake. 

Exclusive THE GUEST Clip: Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett Discuss Making the Film with Nicolas Winding Refn

by     Posted 98 days ago


If you’ve seen Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s work in films like A Horrible Way to Die, You’re Next and V/H/S, their latest, The Guest, will come as quite the surprise because it’s strikingly different in so many respects.  It stars Dan Stevens as David, a guy who shows up at the Peterson family’s door, claiming to be a good friend of their son who died in action.  However, soon after welcoming him into their home, there are some mysterious deaths in town and Anna Peterson (Maika Monroe) suspects they might be connected to David.

The Guest does have a fair amount of bloodshed and loads of suspense, but this one’s much more of an action thriller than a horror movie and that was the focus of some of the conversation at The Guest’s Q&A at Sundance NEXT FEST.  Wingard and Barrett sat down to field some questions from moderator Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) and the audience, and we’ve got an exclusive look at highlights from the discussion.  Hit the jump to watch The Guest clip and hear what Wingard and Barrett had to say about making the switch to more action-heavy material, choosing music for the film and why they had to redo their big car crash. The Guest invades theaters this Wednesday.

Exclusive THE GUEST Poster Featuring Dan Stevens in Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s Latest

by     Posted 124 days ago


You think you know what Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett are capable of?  Think again.  Their past work including You’re Next and their contributions to V/H/S, V/H/S 2 and The ABCs of Death are still great and all, but their latest feature, The Guest, is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.  It stars Dan Stevens as David, a soldier who shows up at the Peterson family’s door claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action.  The Guest does have a horror quality to it, but it’s more of a bloody action thriller than anything, and an expertly stylized one at that.

With The Guest making its way into theaters in less than a month, on September 17th, Collider’s got the honor of unveiling a brand new poster for the film.  Click here to read Matt’s review and hit the jump to check out that exclusive The Guest poster.  The film also stars Maika MonroeLeland OrserSheila KelleyBrendan Meyer and Lance Reddick.

THE GUEST Full-Length Trailer Saves the Film’s Big Surprises

by     Posted 138 days ago


The Guest was one of my favorite films from the SXSW film festival this past March.  As a fan of You’re Next, V/H/S and A Horrible Way To Die screenwriter Simon Barrett and director Adam Wingard, it was interesting to see them successfully take a step or two outside of the horror genre.  The film is incredibly stylish with an amazing score and just really, really nails the vibe its going for.

Following the teaser trailer from a few months back, today’s new full-length trailer doesn’t really communicate that vibe.  It’s serviceable and gives you a nice breakdown of the plot, but the atmosphere is largely missing.  So if this clip puts you on the fence, remember to go ahead and take the leap once the film comes out.  You won’t regret it.  Check out Matt’s review here for more on that.  The film stars Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Leland Orser, Sheila Kelley, Brendan Meyer, and Lance Reddick and will be released on September 17th via Picturehouse.  Hit the jump for The Guest trailer.

Picturehouse Acquires YOU’RE NEXT Filmmakers’ New Film THE GUEST Starring Dan Stevens; Slated for Fall Release

by     Posted 290 days ago


The new film from You’re Next director Adam Wingard and screenwriter Simon Barrett will be coming to a theater near you this fall.  After premiering at the Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews, Picturehouse has picked up U.S. rights to The Guest for a fall release, marking the studio’s second feature film release after making their debut with last year’s Metallica Through the NeverThe Guest stars Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) as a soldier who befriends the family of a fallen comrade and becomes a threat to everyone around him when it turns out he may not be who he says he is.  I caught the pic at Sundance and it’s a great 80’s throwback that’s kind of like a cross between Halloween and The Terminator.  Stevens is excellent in a dark role that is the polar opposite of his Downton Abbey character, and Wingard and Barrett have a ton of fun with the gleefully dark premise.

Hit the jump to read the full press release, click here to read Matt’s review, and be sure to watch Steve’s interviews with Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett from Sundance. 

Simon Barrett Talks THE GUEST, the Pressure of Following Up YOU’RE NEXT, the Non-Stop Action Movie They Almost Made First, and More at Sundance 2014

by     Posted 333 days ago


One of my favorite films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was The Guest.  Directed and written by the team behind You’re Next (Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, respectively), The Guest is fantastic and as Matt said in his review, it “feels like a lost John Carpenter film from the director’s golden age.  The picture effortlessly moves between a nerve-wracking mystery to a gleefully dark comedy, and at its best it even mixes the two together.”   The story revolves around a soldier that befriends the family of a fallen comrade and becomes a threat to everyone around him when he may not be who he says he is.  Trust me, it’s a film you should be excited to see and I’m sure it’ll be released sometime this year.  The Guest stars Dan Stevens (in an amazingly dark turn), Maika MonroeLeland OrserLance ReddickChase Williamson, and Brendan Meyer.

Shortly after the premiere, I landed an exclusive video interview with screenwriter Simon Barrett.   He talked about the pressure and challenge of following up You’re Next, how much the project changed from inception to the final cut, the other movie they almost made instead of The Guest (a Korea-set action movie that would have been a non-stop chase scene for the entirety of the film), Stevens’ physical transformation, why they didn’t make cameos, and more.  He also revealed that he and Wingard already have their next two projects lined up, with the first set to shoot this year. Hit the jump to watch.


by     Posted 1 year, 122 days ago


[This is a re-post of my review from the Toronto International Film Festival.  You're Next opens tomorrow.]

Adam Wingard‘s You’re Next is the home invasion horror sub-genre played to near-perfection. Through a terrific blend of setting, characters, pacing, and creative kills, Wingard delivers a horror film that even non-horror fans can enjoy. The film falters slightly when it offers more information than necessary, but you’ll suspend your disbelief for the fun, thrills, and excitement you’ll get in return.

V/H/S/2 Review

by     Posted 1 year, 163 days ago


[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. V/H/S/2 opens today in limited release.]

The horror anthology sequel V/H/S/2 is a mixed bag, both in terms of the horror shorts it presents and the identity the franchise is trying to acquire. Arriving a year after its predecessor, it’s clear that V/H/S/2 is meant to be the first of what should be an ongoing series where fan-favorite indie directors step behind the camera to deliver a horror short. The sequel attempts to reduce the flabbier aspects of the original, but it also feels more standardized and therefore less exciting. Additionally, two of the four shorts come across as underdeveloped or rushed. But the ones that work are worth the price of admission, and make the strongest case for the existence of a V/H/S franchise.

Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett Talk V/H/S/2, Returning to the Found Footage Format, Why They Enjoy Anthologies, Their Partnership, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 197 days ago


If you’re not already familiar with Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, you probably will be soon.  The creative duo has been vitalizing the indie horror scene with their contributions to anthologies like V/H/S and The ABCs of Death, and with their anticipated festival hit You’re Next finally coming to theaters in August and new projects already lined up (Dead Spy RunningThe Guest), Wingard and Barrett are poised to make quite an impression in the coming year.

For V/H/S/2, the team returns to the franchise with “Tape 49” and “Clinical Trials Phase 1”.  While V/H/S met with mixed reviews, the second installment has been praised as a leaner, meaner, more ambitious follow-up with higher stakes and bigger payoffs.  Earlier this week I jumped on the phone for an interview with Wingard and Barrett.  We discussed the lessons they learned on the first film, feeling more comfortable with the found footage format the second time around, what they like about working on anthology films, they’re success as creative partners, and more.  V/H/S/2 also features segments by Jason EisenerGareth Evans and Timo TjahtjantoEduardo Sanchez and Gregg Hale.  Check out the full interview after the jump.

First Trailer for Adam Wingard’s Horror Film YOU’RE NEXT

by     Posted 1 year, 269 days ago


The first trailer for director Adam Wingard‘s horror film You’re Next is now online.  The story centers on a family reunion that turns deadly when the family becomes targeted by masked murderers.  Their only hope is Erin (Sharni Vinson), a girlfriend of one of the family members. I really dug the flick when I saw it at TIFF 2011, and I’m excited that it’s finally coming out.  The trailer feels a tad on the generic side, but it doesn’t give away too much, and I like the use of Lou Reed‘s “Perfect Day”.

Written by Simon Barrett, You’re Next also stars Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen, Amy Seimetz, Barbara Crampton, Wendy Glenn, Margaret Laney, Rob Moran, and Nicholas Tucci, and Ti West.  The film opens August 23rd.  Hit the jump to watch the trailer.

Exclusive Teaser Poster from YOU’RE NEXT Releases the Animals

by     Posted 1 year, 275 days ago


Lionsgate has begun to promote their upcoming horror flick, and they’re wisely seizing on one of the film’s most iconic aspect: the masks of the three killers.  Each killer wears a different mask, and so Lionsgate is releasing three teaser posters.  Today, we’re happy to premiere the teaser poster for the lamb mask.  The poster also asks “Did you remember to lock your door?”, and I did not, so that was a very helpful reminder.  People who have seen the movie will also note to cover their windows, stay low, and learn as many survival tactics as possible.

Hit the jump to check out the cool teaser poster, and click on the respective links for my positive review from TIFF 2011, my interview with star Sharni Vinson, and my interview with director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett.  Be sure to keep an eye out for the first trailer on Thursday, March 28th.  The film also stars AJ Bowen, Amy Seimetz, Barbara Crampton, Wendy Glenn, Margaret Laney, Rob Moran, Joe Swanberg, Nicholas Tucci, and Ti WestYou’re Next opens August 23rd.

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