Emmy and Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce stars in a twisty, stylish crime thriller The Perfect Host.
Do you ever really know someone?
Aussie director-writer Nick Tomnay’s fascinating romp explores misleading appearances and the jagged edges of personal psychology.
Hyde Pierce powers the low budget film’s comedic horror, showing the full range of his incredible talent. He’s best known as neurotic, ever-frustrated Dr. Niles Crane on television’s Fraiser series.
Playing Warwick Wilson, Pierce (Nixon, Full Frontal, Spamalot) is nice and oh-so-naughty as a refined gay man throwing a dinner party. He has tremendous fun with this role.
Lambasting gay stereotype
Just as Niles desperately seeks the love of Daphne, Warwick burns for unconditional affirmation of his own worthiness. “Love me. Love me,” he says during a kinky scene.
Premiering at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, The Perfect Host is a chess game of moves and countermoves. The story turns surreal in a posh, Los Angeles suburban home.
You must decide what’s real and what’s illusion as the straightforward is turned on its head. Survival is at stake as “every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”
Crawford as hapless crook
Also excellent is Clayne Crawford (A Walk to Remember, 24) as John Taylor, an unlucky bank robber on the lam who rings Warwick’s doorbell.
John steals a postcard from Warwick’s mailbox, pretending to be a friend of a friend. The crook is in for the surprise of his life. Crawford deepens his character with surprising humanity.
The first plot twist leads to surprising revelations about Warwick, John and Simone (Megahn Perry), the bank robber’s girlfriend.
As characters veer into the unexpected, director Nick Tomnay skillfully keeps the Hitchcock-like action on track in this darkly funny exploration of human idiosyncrasy.
John Swihart’s original score suits the movie’s many moods and adds to the fun.
Grammy winner Helen Reddy, who topped the Billboard charts in 1972 with her women’s lib tune I Am Woman, delivers a strong supporting role as Mrs. Knight, Warwick’s concerned neighbor.
Detective Morton (Nathaniel Parker) and Detective Valdez (Joseph Will) investigate. Morton wants to take a cold case one step further.
The Perfect Host turns into a who’s who of crime and punishment. Based on Tomnay’s short film The Host, its edgy action and bizarre fascination fill each moment. (4.5 out of 5 stars)
If you like The Perfect Host, you might enjoy: Shutter Island; The Ghost Writer.
The Perfect Host 2011 / R / 1 hour, 34 min
Cast Overview: David Hyde Pierce, Clayne Crawford, Helen Reddy, Nathaniel Parker, Megahn Perry, Joseph Will, Tyrees Allen, Annie Campbell, Indira G. Wilson, Cooper Barnes
Director: Nick Tomnay
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Indie