Short Film Review: Dear Guest (2020)

March 31, 2020

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Maria (The Last Exorcism‘s Ashley Bell) and Jules (Noureen DeWulf) are a couple checking in to a swanky vacation rental, so ol’ J-dawg can get her rest on. It doesn’t take but a fraction of a millipube (it’s a real measurement of time, but only us cool ass movie critics know about it… wait, now I’ve told you about it… ) for things to go from sedate to escape room style fight for survival, as AirBnB type sitches oft do, eh me boils n’ ghouls?

Let me tell you cats n’ creeps; Dear Guest is one hell of a sinister short! Writer/director Megan Freels Johnston delivers a fantastic mystery; replete with cryptic clues delivered on lil’ white cards, a house that is impossible to escape, and a fine sense of escalating tension… all delivered as we scratch our horrible heads trying to figure out who is behind it all.

Adding to the top tier acting (the cast is comprised entirely of the aforementioned Bell and DeWulf, and both are amazing, believable, and sympathetic) effective usage of a single location (that opulent abode mentioned up yonder), and the mystery at hand… but making the entire experience extra-special is this fright flick’s score by Jacob Yoffee; a fantastic orchestral affair reminiscent of a score from the cinema of the 1950’s.

The only complaint I had about Dear Guest is that the film ends with much more story to tell… and I want to see that yarn unfold dammit!

That said, Freels Johnston really delivers with Dear Guest, and I highly recommend you lot slap your putrid peepers on this short jaunt into our beloved horror biz post-haste!



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