The Invisible Guest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Invisible Guest
Spanish theatrical release poster
Directed byOriol Paulo
Written by
  • Oriol Paulo
  • Lara Sendim[1]
Produced by
CinematographyXavi Jiménez
Edited byJaume Martí
Music byFernando Velázquez
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • 23 September 2016 (2016-09-23) (Fantastic Fest)
  • 6 January 2017 (2017-01-06) (Spain)
Running time
106 minutes
Budget€4 million[2]
Box office$30.7 million[2]

The Invisible Guest (Spanish: Contratiempo, lit.'Setback') is a 2016 Spanish mystery thriller film directed and co-written by Oriol Paulo. It stars Mario Casas alongside Bárbara Lennie, José Coronado, and Ana Wagener. It was released in Spain on 6 January 2017. The film opened to lukewarm critical response and finished with a modest domestic box office, but later found its popularity in the international market of China where it topped $25 million in the box office. The film was a commercial success, grossing $31 million worldwide against its €4 million budget. [3]

The Invisible Guest has spawned six remakes in different languages.


Businessman Adrián Doria is out on bail after being arrested for the murder of his lover, Laura Vidal. His lawyer, Félix Leiva, hires attorney Virginia Goodman, who visits him at his apartment with the news that the prosecutor has found a witness who will be testifying in front of a judge soon; they have three hours to come up with a defense, so Virginia urges Adrián to tell her the whole truth.

Adrián tells Virginia how he and Laura had ended their affair but received a call blackmailing them to come to a rural hotel with €100,000. At the hotel, Adrián was knocked unconscious and awoke to find Laura dead in the bathroom. With the door and the windows locked from inside the police found Adrián to be the only suspect.

Adrián then narrates further back, how he claimed to be in Paris but was really in a cabin with Laura. As they drive back to Barcelona, Adrián swerves to avoid a deer, clipping another car, which hits a tree. Although they are unhurt, the other car's driver, a bank employee (Daniel Garrido), died. Laura rationalizes that it is not entirely their fault since Daniel was texting and not wearing his belt. When another car approaches, Laura hides the body, and she and Adrián pretend to exchange insurance information. She pretends to answer Daniel's phone when it rings, and the driver leaves. Laura waits for a tow truck in Adrián's car, which will not start, while Adrián dumps Daniel's car in a lake with the body inside.

Laura later picks up Adrián and tells him how his car was repaired. An automotive engineer, Tomás, drove by and offered to help Laura, who claimed she had hit a deer. He towed the car to his house to fix it. While talking to Tomás's wife, Elvira, Laura realized Daniel was their son. When leaving in the repaired car, Laura adjusted the driver's seat arousing Tomás's suspicion about the car owner. Adrián sells his car and reports it stolen, and parts ways with Laura.

Adrián is summoned to the police, as Tomás has reported his plate number. Félix concocts an alibi for Adrián and manages to remove his name from the case file. When the news report that Daniel is on the run after embezzling money from the bank, Adrián confronts Laura, who admits that she took Daniel's wallet, and later hacked into Daniel's account and stole the money. Confronted by Adrián about this, Laura threatens to frame him too.

Tomás poses as a reporter during a public event attended by Adrián, noticing that Adrián pulls out the same lighter he saw when fixing the car. He begs Adrián to reveal the corpse's location. Days later, Adrián receives instructions to take Laura to the rural hotel with €100,000. Adrián thinks the blackmailer may be the passing driver, had he followed Adrián afterwards.

Virginia suggests that Adrián could claim he saw the face of the man who hit him in the rural hotel room and that the attacker was Tomás. Adrián then reveals he has always known it was Tomás but he did not tell because he was testing Virginia. Virginia suggests planting an item belonging to Laura in Daniel's car, and claiming she acted alone. Adrián then confesses that as he was pushing the car into the lake, Daniel was alive; an autopsy would reveal he drowned.

Upon learning about Laura's anxiety, Virginia suggests Adrián is lying about Laura being the femme fatale behind their deceit. However, Virginia says she believes Tomás framed him because Elvira worked at the rural hotel, and that is why the Garridos chose it for the rendezvous: Elvira could have easily unlocked the window for Tomás to escape after killing Laura, and later locked the window, making it seem like nobody else came in. Virginia says Tomás has been stalking Adrián, Félix and even herself, and points to an apartment across the street, where Tomás is lurking. Adrián finally admits that he killed Laura and staged the scene.

Félix leaves a message on Adrián's voicemail, urging him to call back. Virginia suggests Adrián to return the call during a break, and she hastily leaves. Félix reports Adrián that the witness is indeed the other driver, but his silence was bought. As Félix questions how the meeting with Virginia is going, the call is getting disturbed with high-pitched tones, Adrián then realizes that their entire conversation is being recorded. He recalls Virginia turning off his phone. He looks into the apartment across the street and sees Tomás next to Virginia, who reveals herself to be Elvira Garrido in disguise. Using the confession, Tomás calls the police as the real Virginia Goodman arrives at Adrián's apartment.


  • Mario Casas as Adrián Doria, a successful businessman
  • Bárbara Lennie as Laura Vidal, Adrián's lover
  • Iñigo Gastesi as Daniel Garrido Ávila, 23-year-old banker
  • Francesc Orella as Félix Leiva, Adrián's attorney
  • Blanca Martínez as Virginia Goodman, defense attorney hired by Félix
  • José Coronado as Tomás Garrido, Daniel's father
  • Ana Wagener as Elvira Garrido, Daniel's mother
  • Manel Dueso as Inspector Milán
  • San Yélamos as Sonia, Adrián's wife
  • David Selvas as Bruno, Laura's husband
  • Paco Tous as Conductor


The film was shot in 2015 (from March 10, 2015 to July 12, 2015), in Terrassa, a city in Catalonia, Spain, and in other locations in Spain, such as the city of Barcelona, the region of Biscay, and Vall de Núria.[4]


The film grossed €3.68 million in Spain.[5] Out of Spain, the film was a surprise hit in China. Initially, the film was not released in China, but it was picked up by illegal file sharing sites and amassed huge downloads. The positive word-of-mouth prompted a local film distributor to contact director Oriol Paulo and discuss releasing it in Chinese theaters.[6] The film debuted on 7,000 screens in China on Sep 15, 2017, eight months after its release in Spain. It eventually grossed over CN¥172.4 million (€26 million),[7][3] becoming the most successful Spanish film ever in China. 70% of ten reviews are positive on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and the average rating is 7.00/10.[8]



  1. ^ "Guionista de cine y de televisión". Showrunners. Showrunners Barcelona S.L. Retrieved 30 October 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Contratiempo (The Invisible Guest) (2017)". JP's Box-Office. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b "The Invisible Guest (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 25 May 2023.
  4. ^ "ICAA Film Data - ICAA Film Database". Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  5. ^ "Contratiempo". Catálogo de Cinespañol. ICAA. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  6. ^ "¿Por qué los chinos se han vuelto locos con 'Contratiempo'?". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 May 2023.
  7. ^ "看不见的客人". Cbooo (in Chinese). Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  8. ^ "The Invisible Guest". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media, LLC. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  9. ^ Redazione. "David di Donatello 2019: tutte le nomination".
  10. ^ Scroll Staff. "'Badla' is a remake of a twist-laden Spanish thriller that invites viewers to guess the killer".
  11. ^ "Amitabh Bachchan to Star in Bollywood Remake of Spanish Thriller 'The Invisible Guest'". The Hollywood Reporter. 19 June 2018.
  12. ^ "The film is indeed inspired by Spanish film 'The Invisible Guest'". The Times Of India.
  13. ^ "Confession". (in Italian). Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  14. ^ M, Shashiprasad S. (2 June 2023). "Yadha Yadha Hi review: A not so impressive remake of Telugu film 'Evaru'". The South First. Retrieved 31 July 2023.

External links[edit]