On it’s release in 2010, this film was billed as a psychological thriller. Now whoever came up with that was obviously smoking something that can’t be bought over the counter, as the closest accurate description you can give this film is of a horror comedy.
There is comedy in every scene, whether intentional or not, and casting one of our finest comedy actors, David Hyde Pierce, as the lead makes you see humour where you shouldn’t.
Now this may sound like a negative, but it really isn’t. Hyde Pierce actually steals the show as Warwick Wilson, and puts in one of those performances that is so brilliantly understated that it is only after wards you think wow. You are so entranced by every scene he appears in that you don’t actually appreciate the performance at the time as it is the ultimate in making you feel as if you are looking through a window, not watching a film.
The film kick off with a bank robber, John Taylor, who has just relieved a bank of $300,000. Having hurt his foot in the heist, and desperate to hide somewhere with his loot, he tries to talk his way into a house posing as a Jehovah’s Witness, the woman sees through him and sends him on his way. He goes through Warwick’s mail box, finds a postcard of Australia from Julia, and knocks on his door, pretending to be a mutual friend.
Warwick is in the middle of preparing for a dinner party he is holding when he answers the knock at the door. Being an infinitely nice guy, he can’t turn away one of Julia’s friends who is obviously in need, and invites him in. They start chatting about Julia, her adventures in Australia, and Warwick gives Taylor a glass of wine. Now the fun really begins…
Warwick goes back to his prepping and turns on the radio. The broadcast gives details of the bank heist,Taylor panics and tries to take Warwick hostage, he fails due to his wine having been drugged and he passes out. When Taylor wakes up, dazed and incoherent, he is tied to a chair at the head of the table, surrounded by Warwick and his assortment of guests tucking into roast duck.
Taylor soon realises this is no ordinary dinner party and the guests are far from run of the mill. It turns out that lovable Warwick is a complete psychopath, and from hereonin the film takes us on a wild, hysterical ride including an amazing dance number. The Perfect Host started life as a 26 minute short, and thank god it was made into a full length feature.
This is a must see film that will have you splitting your sides, it is a dark film that successfully combines horror and comedy so effectively that other film makers should take note. Warwick is Niles dark side that you never got to see in Frasier, and nobody could have played the role better than David Hyde Pierce.