“The Perfect Host” starts out as a deliciously nasty horror flick, the kind of thing I’d much rather watch than a blood bath or shaky-cam frightfest. Clayne Crawford is a bank robber/con man on the run from the law who happens to knock on the wrong door. (Yes, there are strong echoes of “Psycho” here.) He manages to get himself invited in by David Hyde Pierce, who is just about to host a dinner party. But guess what? There’s not really a dinner party, except in Hyde Pierce’s head, and he’s about to enthusiastically torture and kill his new guest.
Hyde Pierce is having tons of fun here, and that makes the whole thing fun. He plays meticulously nuts with relish and vigor. But the film’s problems begin when the party ends, about halfway through the film. Suddenly, “The Perfect Host” wants to be about the bank robbery, and a double-crossing; Hyde Pierce the nutcase by night morphs into Hyde Pierce the detective on the robbery case. The second half is a very different, and much inferior, film, to the first half. The end result is underwhelming, to say the least.
Rent or buy “The Perfect Host” at amazon.com and I receive a commission!