What would you do if Dan Stevens showed up at your door? If you’re a fan of the series Downton Abbey, on which he used to play the honorable Matthew Crawley, you might be inclined to invite him in for tea.
But once you see this exclusive full-length trailer for The Guest above, you may think twice.
“It’s part of that tease with the audience — you know, ‘Oh, it’s that nice young man off Downton!’” Stevens tells Yahoo Movies. “Just watch the movie, that’s what I say.”
In the darkly humorous thriller, Stevens plays David, an Iraq War veteran who shows up at the doorstep of his dead army pal’s grieving family. He says he’s there to help — but when people start dying, his real motivation comes into question.
The Guest is the newest feature from director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett, best known for clever low-budget horror flicks like the sleeper home-invasion hit You’re Next, which is what reeled in Stevens. “As soon as I saw that movie, I was like, ‘I want to meet the crazy, crazy people who made this film,’” the actor says. The Guest falls less into the horror category than the duo’s previous movies. As Stevens describes it, it’s more of a genre mash-up, inspired in part by Wingard’s back-to-back viewings of The Terminator and Halloween.
Stevens doesn’t want to give away any of the movie’s twists, but he thinks it’s surprising enough to get a big reaction. “You always see on Facebook, like, ‘Can someone please watch the season finale of Breaking Bad so that we can talk about it?’” he says. “I’d like to think that people will feel the same way about The Guest: ‘I want my friends to see this because we need to talk about it!’”
The Guest opens in theaters on Sept. 17.