On Demand Welcomes THE PERFECT HOSTJune 08, 2011

On Demand Welcomes THE PERFECT HOST

Magnolia Pictures

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: THE PERFECT HOST (Magnolia Pictures).

On Demand Welcomes THE PERFECT HOST
By Chris Claro


Though they’re still around today, via such networks as Lifetime, Hallmark, and SyFy, the made-for-TV movie had its heyday in the 1970s. B-level features that ran anywhere from 70 to 95 minutes, TV movies had the feel of the lower half of a double bill. With their pulpy plots and recognizable character actors, they were junk food, a cinematic bag of Bugles with special guest star Dick Van Patten.

As I watched THE PERFECT HOST, I was transported back to the days of my nerdy youth, when, on many a Saturday night, stuck in a three-network hell, I consumed thousands of those empty TV-movie calories.

A tight little comic thriller that – almost – moves quickly enough to leap over its fairly prodigious plot holes, David Hyde-Pierce is the eponymous character, an effete Angeleno named Warwick who is putting the finishing touches on a dinner party in anticipation of the arrival of his guests. After John, a crook on the run from the police, ingratiates his way into Warwick’s house, each man employs wits and will to maintain dominance over the other.


Hyde-Pierce is one of those truly talented actors who can disappear into a role and make the audience forget his eleven-year stint as fussy Niles on FRASIER. His slow, deliberate revelation of what drives Warwick is one of the film’s biggest pluses. Swishy one minute, menacing the next, Hyde-Pierce calibrates his performance for maximum laughs.


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