Daily Recco, November 9: Good intentions paved with unexpected horror for The Guest

The perfectly normal situation turns to be the worst possible nightmare, thanks to the most unusual circumstances for The Guest.

 |  2-minute read |   09-11-2020
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The way to hell, they say, is paved with good intentions. And that is exactly what happens in The Guest (2016) — a short film by Ayappa KM — to the young man (portrayed by Avinash Tiwari), whose car breaks down in the hills. The film that was released on this day (November 9) four years ago by Large Short Films, was a winner at the Mumbai Film Festival.  

The setting is absolutely scenic. The man is driving down the hills and his car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. He is walking through the wilderness as it starts to get dark and comes across a quaint little cottage. For a moment, one does feel it to be The Cabin in the Woods moment, and the entry of the spaced-out old lady (played by Davinder Madan) goes on to confirm it. The stranger gets the refuge for the night and that proves to be his undoing. 

The goodness of heart, the host's warmth in receiving the guest and the unexpected darkening of circumstances make this film stand out. Moral of the story: Always treat the elderly the way you would treat kids — with adult supervision.

The screenplay by Parveez Sheikh and Ayappa KM is brilliant, as is Sameeruddin’s music. The placement of the music track in the beginning and the end of the film ties the loose ends meticulously — all in under nine minutes. By the end of it, the viewer is torn between dismay and amusement. The storytelling brilliantly ends the film before the viewer realises what might have happened, and then the ending and the fate of the character are left to our imagination. And the imagination works up all kinds of gore and sufferings because, well, there are all the elements of horror in this non-horror thriller. With the kind of quiet plot and the twist in the ending, we are not at all surprised that the film has over a million views on YouTube.     

The Guest is an eerie marker to what happens when all the good intentions come together and yet work out a way to hell. For the stranger in this short film, it sure did.

Also Read: Daily Recco, November 3: Axone, and the pungent message of racism

Writer

Rajeshwari Ganesan Rajeshwari Ganesan @rajeshwaridotg

Assistant Editor, DailyO

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