Fantastic Fest 2016 Movie Review: The Invisible Guest
How far would you go to protect a lie? How far would you go to uncover the truth? This classic battle of ideals has been the central theme of many a Hitchcock-ian thriller, and they don’t always deliver. Whey they hit, they are some of the best films around and when they miss they are these eye-rolling subjects of mockery imaginable. Thankfully, The Invisible Guest is one of the good ones. Out of Spain, directed by Oriol Paulo (writer of previous Fantastic Fest film Julia’s Eyes) crafted a tense thriller that will literally keep you guessing until the very end.
Adrian Dora is a wealthy business man who has the perfect life and cliche to most men of that kind of power, he has a mistress that he must keep secret, and does a great job of elaborately doing so. One night he wakes up in hotel room to find his mistress murdered covered in one million euros and he is accused of the crime. Desperate to maintain his freedom, he seeks the help of famed defense attorney Virginia Goodman, and over the course of one night they uncover the truth of what happened that night, and what led to that fateful evening that turned Adrian’s world upside down forever.
It’s clear from the first frame that what you’re about to see is a captivating mystery of which you won’t know the truth until the very end. The movie plays like a choose your own adventure book. As the plot begins to develop one way, you may find yourself questioning what it looked like from the other perspective and thankfully, Oriol Paulo delivers this twisting tale from all angles. Even with the vast amount of information at your disposal, you’ll be guessing until the very end and you’ll be wrong every time.
Overall, The Invisible Guest is a hard film to review. From the obvious measures of what makes a great film great, score, cinematography, performances, writing, all are stunningly mesmerizing. Beyond those attributes, any information about the story, where it goes, how it moves from A to B, even a comparison to another film that the ending will no doubt remind you of is too much information. It’s best absorbed with as little information as possible. Fantastic Fest has done a great job of exposing European films that eventually are able to seen by the US public and no doubt The Invisible Guest will find its way to a screen near you at some point. When that day comes, be sure not to miss it. It’ll be a long time before you see a movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat like this one will.