"You can't kill me. I'm having a dinner party."
— Warwick WilsonThe Perfect Host
is a 2010 dark comedy / thriller independent film starring David Hyde Pierce
fame and Clayne Crawford. A career thief, John Taylor (Crawford), needs to evade police for one night after a bank robbery that resulted in a wound to his foot. Turned away by other residents of Los Angeles, he concocts a quick story to get into the house of a man living alone, Warwick Wilson (Peirce). Warwick has his own plans for John though, but first, he's expecting guests.
As this film has various Plot Twists
, expect spoilers ahead.
The Perfect Host provides examples of:
- Anti-Hero: John, to two different (possibly) sympathetic villains.
- Affably Evil: Warwick is quite happy about everything he does.
- Ax Crazy
- Contrived Coincidence: Not only was John unlucky enough to take refuge in a convenience store that is immediately subjected to a robbery and hide in the house of a guy who turns out to be an utter psycho but said psycho is also the police Lieutenant investigating the robbery John committed!
- Crazy-Prepared: Warwick's home is rigged this way, which fits both his personality and his, well, craziness.
- Deconstruction: of the home invasion genre.
- Healthcare Motivation: John, to pay for an operation for his girlfriend who was faking the whole thing.
- Hemo Erotic: Warwick, with himself and with others forcibly, though it's not clear if he ever really wounds and kills his guests.
- Slipping a Mickey: Throughout most of the night.
- Subverted Trope: The film gives a unique twist to many thriller and horror tropes and scenes.
- Strawman Political: Warwick takes inappropriate opportunities to share some extreme conservative views, which are either met with awkward silence or renounced by other characters.
- Playing With Character Type: At first, Warwick looks the usual snobbish milquetoast Niles Crane-esque character David Hyde Pierce usually plays. One drugged glass of wine later and he reveals himself to be an Ax Crazy maniac.
- Third Act Stupidity: John passes up an opportunity to leave for a seemingly foolproof opportunity to kill Warwick.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: The difference between Warwick's perception and reality is made very clear, often for laughs.
- Was It All a Lie?: John doesn't even need to ask when he realizes Simone double-crossed him to steal the money.
- You Wouldn't Shoot Me: John says this at the end to Warwick who, despite being Ax Crazy, suspiciously doesn't follow through with most of his threats of violence.