The Perfect Host

Director: Nick Tomnay (2010)
Starring: David Hyde Pierce, Clayne Crawford, Tyreese Allen
Find it: IMDB

My favourite Crane brother (sorry Jonathan) stars as Warwick Wilson, an outwardly normal, mild-mannered man who might not be all that he appears. Well, of course not, he is Sideshow Bob's brother, after all.

After robbing a bank, petty criminal John Taylor (Crawford) is on the run. He seeks refuge in Wilson's home, thinking he might take the poor sap hostage until the morning. Warwick has other ideas; a dinner party to host and a series of photographs he wants taking. Poor Taylor winds up as Warwick's guest of honour in a party that neither man will ever forget. I don't want to spoil too much, since a lot of the fun comes from the amusing, cheeky twists and turns throughout, in addition to the curious interplay between Crawford and Hyde Pierce.

Both men are curiously likeable. Taylor, despite being a thief, liar and bastard, does have a cuddly quality to him, while David Hyde Pierce has a voice that could recite Pride and Prejudice without me getting bored. That's no faint praise, by the way: Pride and Prejudice is possibly my most hated book of all time. Heresy, I know. Plus, he's Niles from off've Frasier. It loses its way somewhere into the final half hour, but by then, it's built up enough goodwill that we can forgive its iffier impulses. Clever, amusing and very well acted, The Perfect Host is the best horror film I've seen in ages.

I wish I was the sort who hosted dinner parties, just so as I could show my friends this wonderfully off-beat (sort of) home invasion movie.

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