I wanted to watch The Invitation (2016) ever since I first saw the trailer and I am so happy to say that it definitely didn’t disappoint!
There’s this eerie feeling you get at the very beginning of The Invitation and it never really lets up. You’re held captive in a vice of absolute uncertainty while trying to figure out what the Hell is going on. Oh, but don’t worry, the poor lead character, Will, is right there with you.
The people he’s having trouble figuring out are his ex-wife, her new enigmatic boyfriend, a very intoxicated (and sexually provocative) woman, and a big lug of a guy. They all seem very strange but also like they have nothing but love for everyone around them. I was thinking vampires trying to lure in some food, at first, but it turns out they’re simply in a very human cult of sorts. The kind that preys on people who are broken and depressed – though don’t all cult and religious fanatics use this tactic – and promises to help make everything better.
There’s a Jim Jones vibe to all of it which had me thinking “Don’t drink the Kool-aid” from the very beginning. But the title of The Invitation is about these people – or rather the ex-wife and the new boyfriend – having invited everyone over for dinner, so the point was to eat and drink… and be merry. Something our main character has had a lot of trouble with in general.
Also, the invitation in question came after years of having heard absolutely nothing from the ex-wife. Basically, the group of people is friends of the former couple and it turns out our guy hasn’t really been keeping in touch much either.
Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body) directed The Invitation and she has an amazing way of keeping the suspense going while keeping the audience out of the know. That means you’re constantly kept on the edge of your seat and second-guessing everything you thought you had already figured out.
Also, the cinematography is so deliciously inviting and warm, which starkly contrasts with where the story is going. I just love how our senses are being played with (and manipulated) as the story unfolds. The gorgeous script was written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, who also wrote Æon Flux, another movie directed by Kusama.
The fact that The Invitation works so well is also in large part thanks to the amazing cast, which is led by Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus), Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones), Tammy Blanchard (Into The Woods), and John Carroll Lynch (Zodiac).
And really, you should enjoy the crazy ending of The Invitation that will give you the answers you’ve been looking for, but leave you in despair. Such an amazing movie. You really should make sure to watch The Invitation as soon as possible!
The Invitation is out in limited release.
Director: Karyn Kusama
Writer: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman, John Carroll Lynch
While attending a dinner party at his former home, a man thinks his ex-wife and her new husband have sinister intentions for their guests.