Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Honestly, too strange.
This review contains spoilers.
Once more I stay away from the mainstream to see the glories of what is offered on Netflix Instant Streaming. Last time, I said once in a blue moon, but hey…why not more? We can give it a feature on here and call it…Netflix Shuffle or…Netflix Thursday. Anyways, there are a lot of great films on Netflix, but I’m going to guess that more often than not there is overall bad movies that use the Netflix app to get more views that they normally wouldn’t. Today, we fall upon The Perfect Host, a film starring Niles from Frasier himself, David Hyde Pierce as a nut job.
So this fella named John Taylor recently robbed a bank and is on the run. The reasons for the bank robbery are explained throughout the story, but he needs a place to stay for the night. After spying on a postcard in a mailbox with the name Julia, he goes up to a house and claims to be her good friend from Australia. He just needed to “use the phone” to make arrangements. However, his host – Warwick Wilson, overheard a report about John robbing the bank, and suddenly John is forced to sit in on a twisted dinner party involving himself, Warwick, and all of Warwick’s imaginary friends as Warwick continually hints that he will ultimately kill John by the end of the night.
Well, I can at least say I’ve never seen anything like this before…I mean, sure I’ve seen the overdone dinner with a psychopath before, but not quite like this. The whole imaginary friends/schizophrenic element was interesting, but too weird for my tastes, and ultimately too much for the audience to believe. A whole party of fake people…that may have been pushing the envelope a bit too far. The premise was original to a degree, and held plenty of twists and turns, but I just didn’t fit into the target audience.
The acting actually wasn’t bad. David Hyde Pierce is somewhat of a well-known actor, and even though I haven’t really followed his career closely, I can tell that he put a lot of effort into this role. Again, it was over-the-top and there’s no way you will believe it or feel the danger you were probably supposed to feel, but you can appreciate his range in the film. Clane Crawford as John had an interesting character and he played it strongly, but his problem is that he’s pretty forgettable after the movie ends. The characters are okay, as is their chemistry, but I never feel that great about reviewing a movie with practically no protagonist…no…hero of the story. I felt that a hero to this story would have greatly helped the overall tone and direction…but instead we have two overall bad guys. One is a career criminal, and one is a psychopath…yeah…one is worse…but that doesn’t really make the career criminal the protagonist.
I like a psychological thriller as much as the next guy. In fact, psychological thrillers are one of my favorite genres out there, and there really is a lot of undiscovered land that these thrillers have yet to meet, but I don’t like every single one. For the most part, how I felt about The Perfect Host was pretty much…interesting story, interesting character(s), but it’s unbelievable, and you ultimately stop caring about how it will end. What keeps you watching is the ever-changing persona of David Hyde Pierce. In the end, a big portion of how you see a movie comes down to its rewatchability…and unfortunately I didn’t sense any rewatchability here at all.