Lifetime Film Review: The Killer In the Guest House (dir by Tony Dean Smith)


There’s an old saying.  If it seems too good to be true, it’ll probably end up trying to murder you.  I think that’s how it goes.

For instance, it may seem like a good idea to make some extra money by renting out your guest house.  And sure, it might seem like a good idea to pick the first handsome pilot who steps through the front door.  And it might seem like it’s a good thing that he’s tall and sexy and in shape and that he likes to take his shirt off whenever he’s doing the gardening.  And that first time that he defends your honor against your sleazy ex, you may be thinking to yourself, “This guy is perfect!”

Actually, Mark James (Marcus Rosner) would be perfect if not for the fact that, along with being charming and handsome, he’s also a total sociopath who has control issues and a habit of installing hidden cameras all over the place.  When Gina (Chelsea Hobbs) lets Mark move in, it seems like a perfect idea but soon, people are disappearing and Mark is failing to respect her personal space.  Gina is a struggling photographer who is still looking for her first big break and Mark has the looks of a model but is having a model paying you rent really worth having a dead body buried in your garden?  That’s a question that everyone must answer for themselves.

I’ve seen a lot of killer houseguest films on Lifetime.  Actually, even though Lifetime is known for being the “killer husband” network, you’re actually more likely to get murdered by a houseguest than by your husband.  Or, at least, that appears to be the case in the world of Lifetime cinema.  The best Lifetime films are the ones that connect with a real-life fear, like your mother marrying a con artist or your daughter refusing to listen to you when you tell her that the boy across the street with the shady past is up to no good.  The Killer In The Guest House gets at one of my main fears, which is that you’ll invite someone into your house and then they’ll just start hanging around.  Unfortunately, most unwanted houseguests don’t look as good as Marcus Rosner.

Anyway, you can probably guess what happens once Mark moves in with Gina.  It’s all obsession, lies, and murder.  As I’ve said countless times on this very site, we love Lifetime movies because they’re predictable.  They’re like trashy paperbacks that you read whenever you’ve got some time to kill.  The fun is being able to say, “I knew that was going to happen!”  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any surprises to be found in The Killer In The Guest House, of course.  Mark has a lot of difficulty killing one of his victims and the film does a good job of playing up Mark’s exasperation as the victim just keeps coming back to life.  It shouldn’t be funny but it kind of is and I think it’s meant to be.  It’s not easy being a charming sociopath.

Marcus Rosner and Chelsea Hobbs both do a good job in the lead roles.  My favorite performance came from Matthew Kevin Anderson, as the hilariously sleazy Levon.  Whoever put together Levon’s wardrobe deserves an Emmy.

I guess the main lesson to be learned from Killer in the Guest House is that we should be careful we let move in to our home.  But seriously, when a guy says that he loves to garden and that he flies a plane for a living …. I mean, who can resist?

One response to “Lifetime Film Review: The Killer In the Guest House (dir by Tony Dean Smith)

  1. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review: 9/28/20 — 10/4/20 | Through the Shattered Lens

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