Concessions Confession: The Invisible Guest is everything you’d want in a mystery thriller, full of twists, deception, and tantalizing crime. Following the contemporary thriller format of misdirection and making the ‘mystery’ itself what needs to be solve; The Invisible Guest might take its trickery too far but never stops being engaging.
Log Line: Spanish businessman Adrián Doria meets with an acclaimed defense attorney Virginia Goodman as they confront a near impossible task. Prove Doria innocent of his wife’s murder despite their being any evidence or signs of entry within his hotel room.
The Invisible Guest (also known as Contratiempo) is a 2016 Spanish thriller directed by Oriol Paulo. This film is kind of a tough sell because while I thoroughly enjoyed myself watching this flick, I can see certain pratfalls that others won’t like it as much as I did. I guess when I approach a thriller such as this, I’m more so just along for the ride. I think there’s a good chunk of people who will just be off put by having to view it in subtitles and having a generally modest budget. Others will probably not enjoy this one because of some in-feasibility or questionable logic of certain elements.
Overall, it’s a nice piece both in concept, and in execution. I really think the idea of a discussion with a prime suspect and their defense attorney is really engaging which allows you to play around with ideas of unreliable narrators, and the idea of a distinction between the truth and a desirable truth. We really know so little about these characters that us in the audience have no choice but to cling onto every word we are given until the rug is pulled from under us. It really reminds me of Knives Out in being really great at subverting expectations. Presenting this mystery only to find a donut hole within a donut hole.
It’s weird because to some degree it is kind of what I wanted from The Invisible Man a movie that may or may not exist depending on who you ask. A nice dark mood, having to confront this improbable obstacle, and giving the audience a somewhat gray morality protagonist that you have to distinguish whether they are as sane and honest as they let on. While The Invisible Man maybe justifiably abandons it’s genre for a more wider audience action climax, this flick wants to go the whole 9 yards to be a pure-breed mystery thriller.
It’s a film of really exaggerated looks, and it creates these distressing steel blue looks and contrast that with off-putting yellow. It’s very interesting aesthetic as it demonstrates the dowry and gloom that mostly presides over most of the events only for this sickly yellows to be invasive and bring a heighten anxiety to certain settings. It really shows the character as someone in a bleak yet controlled environment but having this creeping distraught atmosphere coming to consume him. Each actor really has their moments and I don’t think there was a real weak link in the cast. The scoring was one thing that if you compare it to big budget cinema it’d be competent, but for this smaller feature it was nice that that element did elevate the piece a little bit.
Overall, I can’t say too much without giving away the fun of it. The only thing I will say is that the film had won me over that I was forgiving in a sense but by the end of it I sort of found it comparable to this SNL skit with just how much the film wants to twists itself into a pretzel:
To be as blunt as possible it’s one that you really got to see for yourself and if you decide to give it a chance, I think you’ll enjoy yourself. While most of the Rotten Tomato critics were lukewarm I saw one that stated that “Hitchcock would love this” and I genuinely do think the master of suspense would get a kick out of this and appreciate how orchestrated and imaginative this one ends up getting.
That is all I have to say about that, thanks for stopping by I hope you had a wonderful time and I will see you, at the movies!