Title – The Invitation (2015)
Director – Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body)
Cast – Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, John Carroll Lynch, Michiel Huisman
Plot – Invited by his ex-partner Eden (Blanchard) and her new partner David (Huisman) to a dinner party with old friends at the house were a great personal tragedy took place, Will (Marshall-Green) starts to suspect that this seemingly innocent catch up is harbouring a nasty ulterior motive.
“You’ve been acting so suspicious of our hospitality”
Review by Eddie on 1/06/2016
A grim slow burning thriller cume horror that never activates the fear button like it could’ve so easily done, Karyn Kusama’s The Invitation is a film that’s mildly curious for its first 15 – 20 minutes but finds itself drawn into an increasingly slow paced mid-section before a fairly bloodthirsty finale tries to make all the hard yards worth the viewer’s efforts to lacking results.
The Invitation does often threaten to become a finely tuned mixing of thrills, chills and dealing with loss but Kusama can’t string the right balance between the facets together and while the cast features somewhat noteworthy faces in the form of Logan Marshall-Green’s grieving Will and Tammy Blanchard’s newly minted cult member Eden, the film can’t find a performer that takes the material by the scruff of the neck and run away with the whole thing even though recognisable character actor John Carroll Lynch (remember, that creepy guy from Zodiac) has a fair bit of fun with his seedy Pruitt, a dinner guest you definitely don’t want to see on arrival!
It was always going to be a major hurdle for the film with so-so performances and unlikeable characters, as the films slow burn nature means we the viewer are virtually locked away in Eden and her partner David’s off putting hill top mansion for the films runtime and while brief moments will shock and make you stand to attention, a large portion of The Invitation’s scenes drag out unnecessarily and fail to connect in the ways they were intended to do.
Where The Invitation finds some wins is in its initial set up which bleeds ominous dread and terror and while it escalates into something far too silly to be taken seriously the films crescendo of carnage and out right battle for survival certainly makes an impression even if it’s too little too late to truly rectify the wrong steps the film has already taken previous to its unleashing.
Far better in theory than execution, The Invitation showcases small glimmers of a standout horror/thriller hybrid but can’t ever get itself into a genuine run at becoming what it promised to be. A solid idea squandered around mediocre characters and uninteresting portrayals, The Invitation is certainly a dinner evening you don’t need to RSVP for.
2 coyotes out of 5