As a casting director, Dan Stevens probably wouldn't be the first actor you'd call upon to fill the role of an intense American soldier. The former 'Downton Abbey' actor probably fended off some stiff competition to star in Adam Wingard's glittering new drama and the movie is all the better for having him aboard.

Dan StevensDan Stevens flexes his acting muscles in 'The Guest'

Stevens' character introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. However, once he is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence. 

For a time, The Guest held a perfect score of 100% on review aggregating site Rotten Tomatoes. That has since dropped to 91% though it's clear that critics are impressed by this taut thriller.

"It all escalates into an arch, knowing throwback to 80s horror-thrillers that's muddled in parts but never less than entertaining: think a trashier version of last year's Stoker," said Anna Smith of the Guardian.

"Mainstream audiences may find this too oddball to appreciate as a straight thriller. But tune into its strange frequency and there is much to enjoy - perhaps even adore," said David Hughes of Empire magazine.

Dan StevensThe movie held a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes

"An effectively bloody, breakneck ride, given an extra coat of alluring gloss by the John Carpenter-influenced 1980s styling that is currently all the rage in the genre," said Guy Lodge of Time Out.

"I've gone from being practically unable to stand [Stevens] to startled admiration in a single move," said Tim Robey of the Daily Telegraph.

"Cool as you like one second, camp as Christmas the next, this entertainingly overpumped action-horror will have genre fans (and their mums) grinning from ear to ear," wrote Matt Glasby of Total Film.

American audiences should probably start getting used to Stevens - the actor has now settled with wife and kids in Brooklyn and has numerous movies in development. He is currently shooting Ido Fluk's The Ticket, with Malin Akerman. 

Watch the trailer for 'The Guest':