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The Perfect Host

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The Perfect Host

Canadian Premiere

  • USA 2010
  • 94 min
  • 35mm
  • English
Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival 2010



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"This film is insane” — David Chen, SLASHFILM

"Black humor turns comically darker in [this] twisty quasi-suspenser” — Justin Lowe, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER


Director: Nick Tomnay
Screenplay: Nick Tomnay, Krishna Jones
Cast: David Hyde Pierce, Clayne Crawford, Helen Reddy, Nathaniel Parker, Meghan Perry
Producers: Stacey Testro, Mark Victor, Martin Zoland
Print Source: Magnolia

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Canadian Premiere
2010 | 8 min
English language



John Taylor (Clayne Crawford) is bleeding profusely, flooded with adrenaline and having an overall terrible day. He’s just robbed a bank, you see, and things, as they are wont to do, went nowhere near as planned. Now he’s stumbling through a posh neighbourhood dripping blood and in desperate need of cover. John is prepared to use every manipulative and lethal skill in his power to get off the street and away from the law. When he lands upon the luxurious home of a certain Warwick Wilson (David Hyde Pierce) and finds a postcard in the mailbox, he has all the information he needs to scheme his way inside as an alleged friend of a friend. Warwick takes the bait and Taylor's in. He’s even invited to join a slew of arriving guests for dinner. John Taylor’s luck has turned around. Or has it? As pampered and naive as Warwick seems to be, he is clearly a little… unusual. We’ll say no more!

Skewered partway between police thriller, psychodrama and black-as-oil satire, THE PERFECT HOST is a twist-riddled joyride of situational chaos, unmasking the dark side of those most seemingly normal among us with sociopathic glee. It’s an auspicious feature debut from writer/director Nick Tomnay that blew minds a-plenty when it launched at Sundance earlier this year. Much like its criminal lead, this is a film that never stays in the same place for long and, just when you think you’ve pegged it down, it smashes the playing field. You’ll laugh yourself silly in places, and just as often you’ll be gasping. The film is anchored with wholly convincing performances from its pair of leads that manage to sell a series of absurdist scenarios as being unquestionably plausible. Pierce proves himself to be a brave, brave man, taking on a role that couldn’t be more completely against type and going to darker, creepier places than you’ve ever imagined him in. True to the film’s title, his performance is perfect. THE PERFECT HOST distorts all conventions of the home-invasion thriller, playing its audience as sharply as its characters play each other in a cat-and-mouse game that slides off into the most outlandish guts of hell next door. Never judge a book by its cover. And never touch said book without protective latex gloves.

—Mitch Davis

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