A Character Study of David: The Guest

Hi, would you be so kind to let me kill you?

Similar to Dexter, the sociopathic personality persona lends itself well to watching actors act like they’re acting. Dexter, David, Norman, and several other cinematic examples come to mind. Narratively, characters without normal internal emotions become exceedingly skilled at charming their way from person to person.

What does it mean to be charming? In cinema, we see various characters that are charming, and to some extent most of us have a conception of what charming might mean. Is it likability? The instant feeling of trust? Is it appearance, or primarily personality? Is it a characteristic effected by appearance though on it’s own continuum? Perhaps with charm on the right-hand side spectrum, and creepiness on the left? It never really occurred to me why charm is so elusive, and yet so incredibly effective as both a social tool and a manipulative tool. 

Take Dan Stevens character from The Guest, “David” he’s smooth as fuck, assertive, somewhat mild mannered, but above all, this word seems to fit his character the most. “Charm” is a weird word that I haven’t really thought much about prior to watching this film, but it’s powerful, magnetizing, and borderline inspiring. To some, I can easily see wanting to be charming as one of the more desirable qualities to achieve, and by studying behavior and action, facial expression, and speech patterns, it seems like it could be learned to some extent… just like the sociopaths on screen.

It’s very heavily implied that David is Caleb, and the experimental programming given to him by the military has given him a very skewed view on how he sees violence; when threatened he can’t even stop himself from killing to protect himself or his cover, as seen when he’s found out. He shows remorse when killing his family members, because deep down he really doesn’t want to.

All the killings and sociopathic acts were ways he thought he was genuinely helping his family. He wanted to be in their lives and help them, even if he didn’t realize just how destructive a force he was going to be coming back like this. The film was showing how from early on, we think we know more than the family does about what he’s up to because we’ve seen more of his violent actions, but with more information all that’s happened is we’ve prematurely reached the wrong conclusion in our mind.

We misattribute the cause. By showing that David is just a man with a broken mind trying to help in this misguided way, at the end of the film we see there was no deeper purpose to helping them, because there was nothing they could really give him, and he never tried to ask for anything from them, no scam, or ways to use them. All he wanted to do was help, and how he saw helping them was by destroying them…. So yeah basically Ultron in a nut shell, anyways that’s my rant… If you have no idea what I’m talking about go rent The Guest, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at home good and “Charming” the film was. Cheers.

2015 movies to get excited for.

Regression

Alejandro Amenabar’s first film in six years stars Ethan Hawke as a man who’s accused of a crime he doesn’t remember. Release Date: 28 August (UK/US) IMDB Page: 

Queen of the Desert

Werner Herzog takes on the real life story of Gertrude Bell, whose experiences in the middle east rival those of T.E. Lawrence. Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, and James Franco star. Release Date: To Be Confirmed IMDB Page: 

Z For Zachariah

This post-apocalyptic drama gets its premiere at Sundance in January, and revolves around survivors Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, and Chris Pine. Release Date: To Be Confirmed IMDB: 

Legend

Tom Hardy plays the Kray twins in this chronicle of the notorious 1950s London gangsters. Brian Helgeland writes and directs. Release Date: To Be Confirmed IMDB Page:

Icon

Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace is documented in this biopic. Ben Foster sounds like the perfect choice for the main role, and his co-stars include Dustin Hoffman and Lee Pace. Release Date: To Be Confirmed IMDB Page: 

The Early Years

Paolo Sorrentino follows up the acclaimed Great Beauty with a film about two friends holidaying in the Alps. Paul Dano plays a filmmaker friends with retired composer Michael Caine. Jane Fonda, Rachel Weisz, and Harvey Keitel lend support. Release Date: To Be Confirmed IMDB Page: 

Mississippi Grind

Writer-director team Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden(Half Nelson, Sugar) return with this road movie about gambling, starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn. Another film on the Sundance line-up, we’ll soon hear whether it lives up to mentor/protege classics like The Color of Money. Release Date: To Be Confirmed IMDB Page: 

Demolition

Trader Jake Gyllenhaal has an emotional crisis after his wife’s death, precipitating some intense self-examination to find out where he went wrong in life. Director Jean-Marc Vallee is following on from recent success with Dallas Buyers Club and Wild. Release Date: To Be Confirmed IMDB Page: 

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Guy Ritchie’s adaptation of the 1960s TV series features Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo and Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin. Ritchie’s comic touch is well suited to this update, as is his instinct for staging original set pieces. Release Date: 14 August (US/UK) IMDB Page: 

Our Kind of Traitor

Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris are a couple embroiled in a battle of wits between the Russian mafia and the British Secret Service. Accomplished TV director Susanna White(Boardwalk Empire, Generation Kill, Bleak House) should make the jump to the big screen with ease. Release Date: To Be Confirmed IMDB Page: 

Ex Machina

A newly developed form of A.I. is the subject of this film from Alex Garland, who directs for the first time after penning several acclaimed movies(Sunshine, 28 Days Later, Dredd). Alicia Vikander leads, and 2015 is almost guaranteed to be her breakthrough year on the international stage. Release Date: 10 April (US) 23 January (UK) Trailer:  IMDB Page: 

Slow West

Fassbender again, playing an enigmatic stranger who accompanies a teen on a quest through the American frontier of the 1800s. John Maclean’s directing debut will be at Sundance. Release Date: To Be Confirmed IMDB Page: 

Carol

Helmer Todd Haynes returns to the 1950s with this screen version of Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt, about a forbidden love affair between two women. A bounty of actors at the top of their game feature, including Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, and Sarah Paulson. Release Date: To Be Confirmed IMDB Page: 

The Hateful Eight

Tarantino’s latest western has endured a protracted journey to production, but shooting is finally underway. There are so many things to get excited about, such as comebacks from Kurt Russell and Michael Madsen. Let’s hope post-production finishes in time for next December. Release Date: December TBC (US) Teaser:  IMDB Page: 

Trainwreck

Can we still get excited about a Judd Apatow film? Amy Schumer wrote the script, and features in a cast that also has space for Daniel Radcliffe, Brie Larson, Marisa Tomei, Bill Hader, and Tilda Swinton. Release Date: 17 July (US) 28 August (UK) IMDB Page: 

Every Thing Will Be Fine

Any film from the director of Wings of Desire is something you should be excited about. James Franco plays a writer who accidentally hits and kills a child with his car. Charlotte Gainsbourg also stars. Release Date: To Be Confirmed IMDB Page: 

Jane Got a Gun

Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor star in a western from director Gavin O’Connor(Warrior). Bounty hunters seek Portman’s husband, and she asks her former lover for help in protecting him. Release Date: 4 September (US) 25 September (UK) IMDB Page: 

Midnight Special

Father has to go on the run with his son when he discovers that his child has special powers. This could prove a departure for writer-director Jeff Nichols(Mud, Take Shelter), who has enlisted Joel Edgerton, Adam Driver, Kirsten Dunst, and Michael Shannon for his cast. Release Date: 25 November (US) IMDB Page: 

Life

Dane DeHaan plays James Dean in a film about the method actor’s time with a photographer for Life magazine(played by Robert Pattinson). Director Anton Corbijn proved that he had a deft touch for dealing with real life subjects when he made Control, a film about Joy Division’s Ian Curtis. Release Date: 25 September (UK) IMDB Page: 

Miles Ahead

One of the performances to watch for in 2015 is Don Cheadle’s turn as Miles Davis. Not much is known yet about this biopic that Cheadle also directs and co-writes. Cast includes Michael Stuhlbarg and Ewan McGregor. Release Date: To Be Confirmed IMDB Page: 

The Last Face

Sean Penn is behind the camera for the first time since Into the Wild. Aid workers Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem are swept up in civil unrest in an unnamed African country. Release Date: To Be Confirmed IMDB Page: 

Trumbo

Has Bryan Cranston finally found his big silver screen role as blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo? This story about the McCarthy witch-hunt in Hollywood in the 1950s boasts a strong supporting cast, including John Goodman, Helen Mirren, and Louis CK. Release Date: To Be Confirmed IMDB Page: 

Filming in one long continuous shot the possibilities of more movies like it.

Birdman and Goodfellas know what these two gems have in common? Both are equally great, both experiment with one seemly continuous shot, save for one of the said movies being filmed completely and what appears to be a continuous shot… Birdman for the win of course.  It really had me thinking, I would like to see more of this… Still don’t know what I’m yapping about—watch the video below.

Impressive, Within the first half hour of watching Birdman my jaw had hit the floor the camera work was phenomenal. I couldn’t believe how seamless it appeared, with Emmanuel Lubezki employing a lot of the same techniques from Gravity in a completely different environment. The technically implications Alejandro González Iñárritu was able to convey on screen is no less than outstanding.

I can’t help but wonder how awesome this effect would look if it was utilized in Sci-fi, Horror or even a Comic Book movie… Call it wishful thinking but hopefully some day…. Some day soon we get something along that realm of the said imagery, in the mean time might I recommend checking out this video below… Definitely helps convey how much work was put in to creating the seamless visage.  Good night world.