Sunday, April 17, 2011

Preview: The Perfect Host

Dark comedy is a difficult thing to pull off, especially for American filmmakers. Our collective desire for a happy ending (not to mention our sensitivity towards jokes about serious subject matter) make black humor a big risk at the box office. The only directors who try on a regular basis are the Coen brothers, and to be fair, they hit the mark only about half the time. Seeing a trailer for a movie that looks like it's literally swimming in such evil lunacy? It makes a horror fan hopeful.

The trailer starts with a crook named John on the run from police, having successfully swiped over $300,000. He worms his way into the house of a man named Warwick, who seems like just another frightened home invasion victim. After John samples some wine though, things get weird. The tables turn violently, putting Warwick in control. After all, he's not about to let some punk bank robber spoil his dinner party.

It's difficult to tell exactly what kind of movie The Perfect Host wants to be. There's allusions to The Strangers, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, even the sitcom Frasier, which seems only appropriate with David Hyde Pierce in the lead. This is definitely a new role for the television veteran. In the two minutes of trailer I've seen, his performance already looks like an Oscar contender: funny, disturbing, and full of quirks. It's impossible to say how much of the film will feature the rest of the cast and how much will be the Warwick Show, but either way, it looks incredibly entertaining. I'm curious to see how the film handles the dueling thematic tones, as the trailer manages to shift from Wes Craven-style disturbing to Edgar Wright-style slapstick fairly easily.

Although premiering at the Sundance Film Festival over a year ago, The Perfect Host has yet to receive a mainstream or even limited release. Thankfully, it opens in theaters stateside July 1st, with the Video-On-Demand option available May 27th. So we won't have to wait much longer.

Whether it's a horror flick, a psychological thriller, or a black comedy worthy of Kurt Vonnegut, The Perfect Host is shaping up to be a can't-miss experience all the same. After watching the trailer, be sure to share your theories in the comments. My opinion? John's dead from the start.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, this just looks like a completely awesome movie. You're absolutely right, it doesn't seem to know what genre to go for. But it looks just... endlessly intriguing.

    After reading a comment on the Youtube page you got the preview from, I'm going to agree with the theory that all the guests are in David Hyde Pierce's head. He's a lunatic housing a criminal. It has to be so much fun. I hope it comes out over here soon.