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Review: Get Pulled Into The Deceiving Innocence of “Dear Guest”

Tuesday, November 3, 2020 | Short Films

BY: DAKOTA DAHL

Starring Ashley Bell and Noureen DeWulf
Written and Directed by Megan Freels Johnston
Look At Me Films

Vacationing in another person’s home always feels like a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you are experiencing something new, exciting and carefree. On the other hand, the way the homeowners arrange their kitchen makes absolutely zero sense to you (why are the oven mitts in a closet?). This sense of being uneasy in an unfamiliar home gets taken to the extreme in Megan Freels Johnston’s DEAR GUEST.

It’s a simple short with a simple premise: lovers Maria (Ashley Bell, The Last Exorcism) and Jules (Noureen DeWulf, Good Girls) are staying at a stranger’s home to get away from work. Maria feels like she had to drag Jules away from her busy schedule to spend some time together and that this vacation will get their love life back on track. Obviously, the owner of the house has other plans and begins making the couple jump through various hoops in what seems to be a bid for survival.

DEAR GUEST is the epitome of bleak ambiguity, so if you were looking for a satisfying conclusion, shut up and enjoy the journey. Half the fun comes from wondering what the point of the games are, and what could possibly come next. You may need to suspend your disbelief a little bit (nobody tries to break a single window to escape) but that’s ok, the journey is weird, not plausible. This journey also ends incredibly abruptly, but that seems to be the point. Always leave them wanting more, as they say.

A fun reminder that while we are trapped in our own homes, it could be worse, we could be trapped in other people’s, DEAR GUEST is available on YouTube and VOD now.

Dakota Dahl
Dakota Dahl has no idea what he is doing, but people seem fine with paying him to do it.