After all those Frasier years of watching David Hyde Pierce be such a deadpan delight tweaking the anal-neurotic snobbery of his therapist character, Dr. Niles Crane, it's a kick to watch the four-time Emmy winner spice mirth with real menace in The Perfect Host. Pierce plays Warwick Wilson, a Hollywood bachelor prepping dinner for friends. When a burglar (Clayne Crawford) rudely disrupts his best-laid plans, Warwick gets sweet revenge that turns, well, horrific. Aussie writer-director Nick Tomnay can't build a solid thriller out of the lightweight materials at hand. Still, the dialogue is witty and spiked with delicious malice. At least it is when Pierce delivers it. It won't spoil the plot to say that he is pricelessly good at taking you places you don't see coming.
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