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Grimmfest 2021 Film Feature - The Guest Room

Directed by: Stefano Lodovichi

Written by: Stefano Lodovichi, Francesco Agostini, Filippo Gili

Starring: Guido Caprino, Camilla Filippi, Edoardo Pesce

 


 

Synopsis: The morning Stella decides to take her own life, a stranger knocks at her door claiming he has booked the guest room for the night. Surprised but charmed by this man who seems to know her very well, Stella decides to let him in. But when Sandro, the man who broke Stella's heart, joins them at home, this odd situation turns immediately into chaos...


Grimmfest say: An initially affable-seeming man inveigles his way into the home of a suicidal woman, claiming to have booked her guest room online, only to prove an increasingly unwelcome guest. What starts out as a tense, claustrophobic, queasily uncomfortable home invasion thriller, dripping with quiet, understated, Pinteresque menace, slowly shifts gears into something altogether more existential and metaphysical, as the identity of the intruder becomes increasingly clear. A paradoxical parable of guilt and redemption, the film's head-spinning narrative swerves keep the viewer constantly guessing, cranking up the tension and threat-levels, as the intruder confronts his captives with past failings and missed opportunities, with the crimes they committed against him, all the while leading them to a reality-shattering final revelation. Subtly played by a fine cast, it's an unsettling, uncomfortable and genuinely unpredictable film, which shatters expectations with every well-timed twist and turn. Stunning production design, too, with the sinister house resembling the Bates Motel by way of early Gaudi. Who wouldn't want to stay there?


What I'm expecting: The Guest Room sounds like a terrific blend of two other Grimmfest features: Night at the Eagle Inn and The Righteous. An uncomfortable and tense "home invasion" movie with a "metaphysical narrative trajectory", with perhaps a more intimate setting and claustrophobic atmosphere. If you know how much I'm looking forward to those two films, you have an idea of how well I feel this could do. I genuinely think this horror genre is up there with the best of them; of course, this comes with the unfortunate caveat of being one of the hardest to get right. I'm not familiar with any of Stefano Lodovichi's previous work, so I really have no idea what to expect, but Lodovichi has his work cut out for him. I'm optimistic, though, and excited about the potential this movie has.

 

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