A young couple on a weekend break find themselves stranded without internet access. Confronted with the prospect of having to make their own fun they decide to play a creepily amusing game, one which quickly turns into an evening of supernatural scares and a dreadful curse.
This simple, formulaic premise has the makings of an effective and concise little short, yet it never quite manages to achieve its potential.
This is primarily down to a lack of chemistry between the couple, an issue further compounded by weak performances. Their relationship, even though intentionally fraught in response to the situation, does not ring true, either on an antagonistic level or otherwise.
The script does not help matters. Being rather perfunctory it fails to offer sufficient character qualities for us to warm to or invest in. These scenes also suffer from poor soundtrack quality. Low level, mumbly dialogue is a strain to listen to and makes conversation difficult to catch, a distraction which takes you out of the film.
What does work successfully is the main action involving the game itself. A high level of tension is created without being forcibly built up in an overblown way. It is played more subtly than that, allowing the couple’s panic and the overall unnerving atmosphere to develop in its own time.
A few visual touches, not always immediately apparent, do impress, proving that director Dave Thorpe is technically adept and aware of the intricacies of the genre. It is not a requirement to pick up on these directly, rather their effect is felt in the general air of unease. However, when watched a second time they are nice little details to observe if you enjoy looking out for such things.
Guest House, despite its flaws, is not completely without merit, but the concept and technical execution by far outweighs the characterisation and performance. Ultimately, any satisfaction drawn from its conclusion comes by and large from Thorpe’s practical proficiency and decent understanding of the genre.
We hope you're enjoying BRWC. You should check us out on our social channels, subscribe to our newsletter, and tell your friends. BRWC is short for battleroyalewithcheese.