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Film / The Perfect Host

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"You can't kill me. I'm having a dinner party."
— Warwick Wilson
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/The_Perfect_Host_9794.jpg
"Dinner parties are a dying art."
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The Perfect Host is a 2010 dark comedy / thriller independent film starring David Hyde Pierce of Frasier 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 (Pierce). Warwick has his own plans for John though, but first, he's expecting guests.

As this film has various Plot Twists, expect spoilers ahead.


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The Perfect Host provides examples of:

  • Actor IS The Title Character: One poster announced the title and main actor as "David Hyde Pierce Is The Perfect Host".
  • Affably Evil: Warwick is quite happy about everything he does.
  • Anti-Hero: John, to two different (possibly) sympathetic villains.
  • 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.
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  • Hemo Erotic: Warwick, with himself and with others forcibly, though it's not clear if he ever really wounds and kills his guests.
  • Shown Their Work: John tries to get refuge in a Jehovah's Witness woman's home by claiming he's also a Witness. She instantly sees through this though as he uses having a cross to prove this-Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe in them. It's a detail most people don't know about.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Throughout most of the night.
  • Strawman Political: Warwick takes inappropriate opportunities to share some extreme conservative views, which are either met with awkward silence or renounced by other characters.
  • Subverted Trope: The film gives a unique twist to many thriller and horror tropes and scenes.
  • Third Act Stupidity:
    • John passes up an opportunity to leave for a seemingly foolproof opportunity to kill Warwick.
    • Warwick snaps an incriminating Polaroid and leaves it with John for no discernible reason, other than perhaps to give John something to blackmail him with later.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: The difference between Warwick's perception and reality is made very clear, often for laughs.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer establishes the plot of 2/3 of the movie, namely that Warwick drugs John for the dinner party, although it never shows that all of the guests are imaginary.
  • 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.

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