DVD Review - The Perfect Host

David Hyde Pierce stars as Warwick Wilson, a man who is hosting a dinner party in Los Angeles one night when a bank robber named John Taylor, played by Clayne Crawford, shows up on the doorstep and scams his way into Warwick's home for the evening.

Director Nick Tomnay does create an air of tension, setting up what could be a very, crazy thriller. The premise of this movie did remind me of P.S. Your Cat is Dead! (2002), and I thought this movie would play out in a similar way as that Steve Guttenberg comedy but only be extremely darker. There are several turnabouts as well as a couple of twists and turns in the plot that keep you constantly guessing. However, it gets to be one twist and turn too much.

On the DVD, Tomnay admits that this film is an expanded version of a short film he did in Australia called The Host. Tomnay also admits that he initially didn't want to expand that short. I haven't seen the short film, but I think I can guess as to what was added to the short to make this feature-length movie. I assume that the short film consisted of mainly the home invasion story and probably only of that. The feature-length version though bends that story back around to contort the movie into being about the bank robbery foremost.

This is, I believe, the mistake. The bank robbery stuff is supremely less interesting and exciting than the home invasion and dinner party stuff, and every time Tomnay cut to flashbacks that set up the bank robbery stuff, he ultimately fails. I didn't care one lick about the bank robbery plot and involving Warwick in it was just ridiculous.

This movie tips the scales towards the argument for filmmakers not expanding short films they've made. Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights, Jared and Jerusha Hess' Napolean Dynamite, and Neil Blomkamp's District 9 may be the few exceptions. Yet, George Lucas, Shane Acker, Sean Ellis and Adam Salky have all expanded their short films to feature-length movies to unsuccessful results. Tomnay's feature may be another addition to that losing side.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated R for language, some violent content and brief sexual material.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 39 mins.


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