31 Days of Hallowe’en 2018, Day 10: The Perfect Host [2010]

 

the perfect host, horror, horror movies, horror films, film, films, movies, halloween

Add me to the list of people who sat down for this movie because it totally sounded like Niles Crane going postal in LA under the name of Warwick Wilson.

It’s sort of that, and the poster and synopsis clearly presents it as such, so it’s a grating waste of screentime when it turns out that ‘Warwick is a twisted loon’ is a first-act twist after 30 minutes of pretending to be freaked out. Why bother with this? Nobody was surprised.

David Hyde Pierce plays the aforementioned Warwick, whose dinner party preparations are interrupted by an on-the-run bank robber John (Clayne Crawford)  claiming to have a mutual friend. Warwick provides wine and chit-chat, being the titular perfect host, but as the evening wears on, something something isn’t quite what they seem blah blah blah.

After reading that this was adapted from the director’s own short film, it became apparent why this didn’t work: needless flashbacks and a separate, jarring storyline about some terribly acted cops (executed with an ineffective, third-act twist) pile on top of repetitive scenes that stretch out a one-note joke from the first act twist. It reeks of stretching and convoluting and just general silliness to try to pad out script pages. Like this paragraph.

It’s a shame, because Pierce is, as always, such fun to watch. And because Crawford, as the only other main cast member, is given little else to do other than slur and sneer, Pierce carries the film, flimsy as it is, effortlessly. But he deserves much better material (and a better supporting cast) than this.

It’s a fail on all counts: implausible and lazy storytelling, sluggish editing and pacing, bland dialogue, woefully amateur acting (besides Pierce) and the most awful, ear-assaulting end-credits song in recent history (imagine Chad Kroeger entering a Scott Weiland contest).  The short, which is not available, might have been better left unexpanded, because this film is neither as stylish nor clever as it thinks it is.

Score: 🎃

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