Trippy, moody and intense,
The Guest is a genre-defying movie featuring some pretty incredible performances from actors all around, including the beautiful (and deadly) Dan Stevens, and the two actors relevant to our interests here, Maika Monroe and Brendan Meyer. Relatively unknown, these two stand out considerably in this film, especially because they are so much more than just the ‘kids’. While The Guest is certainly not a young adult film per se (rather, it’s fairly adult and violent too), Maika and Brendan bring a youthful sensibility and innocence that help ground this dark and savage movie.

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Maika, for her part, brings an incredible mix of budding sexuality and a rock-n-roll, ‘kick-ass’ sort of edge. A striking beauty not unlike a young Gwen Stefani, Maika’s intelligence is just as evident in her performances as her beauty. She first caught our attention as Zac Efron’s main squeeze in At Any Price. In The Guest, she plays Anna, the rebellious and almost-independent daughter in a family that recently lost a son to war in the Middle East. Enter David (Dan Stevens), a veteran of the war who claims to have known Anna’s deceased brother, who quickly infiltrates the family. While Anna’s mother quickly falls victim to David’s misleading charm, Anna remains wary of him, in spite of his exceptional sexiness (truth: Dan Stevens is drop dead gorgeous). Without giving too much away, David turns out to be not at all what he seems, with quite bloody results. “There was something a little bit different about the film,” Maika remarks, going on to discuss director Adam Wingard’s style of work. “[It’s] hysterical and scary all in one; a unique style.”

Recently having attended the Toronto Film Festival with The Guest, Maika had the incredible opportunity to see the final cut of the film for the first time with a live audience. “I remember sitting in the audience and being like, ‘Oh my god, this movie is insane!’” she remembers. “And seeing how the audience was reacting—laughing, screaming—that’s the coolest, when you engage the audience that much.” We are sure that Maika is only beginning a long and illustrious journey of engaging her audience: up next, she is training for a major role alongside Chloe Grace Moretz in the huge film adaptation of young adult alien invasion novel The Fifth Wave.

As for the precocious Brendan, he is a consummate professional for such a young actor. Playing Anna’s younger brother Luke, Brendan acts as the moral compass of the film, at first being tempted by the power David offers him, but soon helping his sister to outsmart the dangerous newcomer. “It’s mixing a lot of different genres in a good and clever way,” Brendan says about the movie. “It does work as a thriller – there are moments that are suspenseful, scary – but it also has this great humor in it…[and] it’s also very real. It’s got some real dramatic developments in it too, so I enjoyed that it had all those things together, and that it worked.”

Also having attended the festival in Toronto this month for the film, this was not Brendan’s first time. “I saw like 12 movies last year,” Brendan remembers of last year’s fest. “It was pretty surreal to go there with a movie in the festival – it was kind of awesome!” Brendan deserves this wonderful development, and we can’t wait to see more from him soon.

The Guest is now playing in select theatres throughout the country!