The Perfect Host (2010) - An Underrated Gem
The Perfect Host is one I will need to be careful when talking about because the twist that makes the show so interesting happens within the first ten minutes, and it's best to go into this not knowing what's about to happen. I will do my best to describe it without spoiling it, just know going in this is a weird mix of Horror and Comedy.
We start following John, who is on his way from what he believes to be a successful bank robbery. While he did suffer a pretty gnarly foot injury, it does seem to be going the way he wants as you see him changing clothes, vehicles, and even having a bike he throws into a dumpster far away from the starting point of his robbery. You quickly learn, however, he had an accomplice and was stabbed in the back by her which lead to the cops knowing who he was and started tracking him down.
Trying to hide out, he looks through the mail of Warwick and uses the information he finds out from the mailbox to lie his way into Warwicks' home. Two things seemed to work against John here however, the first being that Warwick was going to have guests over for a party later, and the other that Warwick is batshit crazy. And this is where I'll be discussing the two aspects of the show separately, and explain how I think they come together.
The first thing, and the majority of the focus, is on John suffering during Warwick's party. The best way I can describe it without ruining everything is to say that the way Warwick sees what's happing at the party in a completely different way then John is seeing it. The show swaps back and forth between the perspective of each character, and that creates a really interesting bit where what you are seeing happen is objectively funny and ridiculous. At the same time, to be in Johns shoes during all this is kind of terrifying. And the best part is the comedy of the situation doesn't detract from how serious what's going on is. While the actor who plays John is fantastic, the real MVP of this is David Hyde Pierce playing Warwick, who despite looking the way he does and having such a ridiculous role to play, does a perfect job at making you believe this character. The two of them together add a lot of credibility to an act that could have failed had the performers not been so believable. It's not a movie I think could have worked with less talented actors.
For the other portion of the movie, you have a mix of the police investigating the robbery, and John having flashbacks as to why he did what he did. Paired with what's going on during the party, you start to sympathies with John and his situation more as time goes on. It starts with you seeing an asshole get his comeuppance for robbing a bank and holding stranger who helped him out at knifepoint, but as the party gets worse for John you are starting to get more and more insight and realize he may have done some bad things, but his heart was in the right place. Because of this, the situation starts to feel direr the longer it goes on, which starts to change the tone of the movie.
I've already mentioned his partner was a girl, so you'll likely have an idea of his motivations already. That said, during one of the flashbacks you see him and his girl at a little party, and this scene is fantastic for an interesting reason, and I love that the movie doesn't directly explain it and just leaves it to you to decipher. But the party in his flashback is almost the polar opposite of what's going on at the current party, yet both parties highlight the same flaw in both John and Warwick as people. They both suffer from some pretty serious Tunnel vision.
Both so focused on their own little world, neither of them were able to see reality for what it was. That's why John got sucked into this bank heist, and why Warwick is having this crazy party. Despite the two characters having nothing in common, they share this one trait. It's kind of interesting to see this party is almost a kind of karmic punishment for John for his mistakes, though I'll say the whole thing doesn't end quite the way you are expecting.
The show does have a pretty weak side cast, to be honest, but it's not that big of a deal. So much focus is on John and Warwick that the rest of it doesn't do much to drag it down. And the lack of certain details, such as how John injured his foot so badly despite everything looking like a clean escape makes the whole thing feel like an excuse to have him show up to this party injured, and I feel a bit more of an explanation would have made it feel a bit more believable.
The Perfect Host is just a fantastic movie, and I can't think of any other movie I've seen that is quite like it. The themes are fantastic, the acting is as on point as it needs to be to pull off something that could be so potentially silly, and I love that the comedy doesn't lessen the horror of the situation. I'm really sad this movie kind of failed at the Box Office, cause it deserves a lot more attention then it got. Shudder and Tubi are the only services I believe stream it as part of the service, other places like Amazon you can stream it but it isn't' part of the Prime service. I encourage everyone to check this movie out, it is worth the watch.
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