Films with a twist are a strange animal, aren’t they? Certain filmmakers have made a career out of it like Christopher Nolan and M. Night Shyamalan while films like Oldboy and The Usual Suspects completely rely on a twist to give everything a bit of a deeper meaning. But when does it become too much? If a film has more than one twist is it overkill? What about the ones with several? Getting tangled up in swerve after swerve probably isn’t a good idea. That’s one of the reasons most people hated Basic. Maybe it’s a guilty pleasure of mine, but I almost always enjoy a movie with a good twist or two in it. And frankly, The Perfect Host is unlike anything the films it may share traits with.
Everything seems like an open and shut case as the movie begins. John Taylor (Clayne Crawford) just robbed a bank and is looking for a sanctuary of sorts to take cover in until the heat blows over. He stumbles onto the home of Warwick Wilson (David Hyde Pierce), which happens to be a rather extravagant home. Warwick is preparing for a dinner party and eventually lets John in after John convinces him that he’s a friend of a friend. Push comes to shove and suddenly Warwick is up to speed and John now has the upper hand. But things aren’t always what they seem and it just so happens that John walked right into Warwick’s trap. The night only gets stranger and stranger for John as Warwick’s insanity takes center stage.
The movie is mainly a cat and mouse game between John and Warwick. John Taylor initially comes off as a selfish, despicable lowlife but there’s actually a pretty interesting back story to him. Warwick’s story is just as interesting. He’s classy, quirky, and charming in an awkward kind of way. He has this Jack Torrance quality to him that draws you to his character. His antics are what make the film as good as it is. It’d be like injecting Rubber’s outlandish qualities into the first half of The Human Centipede before the actual human centipede comes into play. The Perfect Host is a dark, humorous, and spellbinding journey.
The music also compliments the visuals so well. The quieter and more orchestral sounding pieces not only match the class that Warwick is trying to project, but also make his darker intentions put you a bit more on edge. Not that anything is relatively terrifying in The Perfect Host, but everything is so outlandish that you’re not entirely sure what to expect. The music tends to get more over the top to match Warwick’s spiral into madness, which is a superb quality for a film like this to have.
The Perfect Host may be a bit overwhelming to some. The way the film is constantly twisting and turning in directions you don’t expect may come off as a little tiresome, but it is really fantastic if you’re a fan of unpredictability. Things you’ve thought you’ve figured out unravel to reveal you only knew part of the story. It’s as if The Perfect Host has a never-ending amount of layers that’s driven by the rather incredible performance of David Hyde Pierce and the equally impressive Clayne Crawford. The Perfect Host won’t be for everyone, but to the ones it does speak to is some of the finest bat$#%! insanity to ever be filmed.
The DVD is mostly bare bones when it comes to special features. We get a Making of featurette featuring writer and director Nick Tomnay. The feature is about eleven minutes long and features Tomnay talking about the film spliced with scenes of the film. There is some interesting stuff in there like how The Perfect Host was originally a short, black and white flim that was shot in 2000, only taking 17 days to shoot the film, and Clayne Crawford putting a rock in his shoe to keep his limp up throughout the film. Tomnay also tells us how David Hyde Pierce came aboard and discusses how important the music is to the film. Then there’s the four and a half minute featurette HDNet: A Look at The Perfect Host. This is mostly just a highlight reel from the film along with David Hyde Pierce talking about it. Throw in the theatrical trailer and that wraps up the special features.
The Perfect Host is rated R for language, some violent content and brief sexual material. It’s presented in English 5.1 Dolby Digital sound with optional Spanish subtitles and has a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It’s approximately 93 minutes long and should be available in both retail stores and most online retailers now.