Title: The Invitation
MPAA: Rated R for language including sexual references, some strong violence, brief graphic nudity and drug content
Director: Karyn Kusama
Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Michiel Huisman
Synopsis: 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.
As a film reviewer, the best thing to do with a film like this is talk as little about the plot as I possibly can. Instead, I will discuss about my experience watching this film and why other people should do the same.
After scrolling through all the typical Netflix movies I have either already seen or have no intention of seeing, I was at a loss. I was ready to give up and go to Amazon and pay for a film I wanted to see. Who does that anymore? It was until I came upon a film called, The Invitation, that I had the idea of trying something new that I barely heard of and had no idea what it was about. I have heard maybe one or two things about it, and they weren’t bad things at all, so I decided to take a risk and watch a film I originally had no intention of watching and had no idea how good it was….All I can say is, by the end of this film, I was at a loss of words! My mouth was wide open, my heart was racing, and I was left curled up in my bed with my blanket being used as preservation. The Invitation simply is one of the most tense, well-filmed movies I have seen in quite some time, and it seems like no one is talking about it!
The Invitation was released in a handful of film festivals and select theaters last year, and ever since then has become a forgotten film. It could be because of the, for the most part, nameless cast. The title and synopsis of the film certainly doesn’t intrigue anyone, and the director has only made one or two good films previously. This certainly would have been a hard film to promote, and it is very low-budget. However, it makes it even more impressive how well it turned out! This film is like “the little engine that could” chugging a long and showcasing strong directing, above-average acting, and a story that provides multiple, fascinating layers. This movie, for the entire film, pretty much takes place in the house where the dinner party is taking place, yet it continues to build tension, and never drags on. The editing is fantastic and there is not one scene that is wasted.
This film has some extremely memorable scenes, and a climax that is one for the ages. If you are a fan of psychological thrillers/horrors then I highly recommend this film. It is certainly not an easy watch, but it rewards the viewers with an impressive tension-built thriller. It reminds me of Alien in the way that it is claustrophobic in a limited setting, and leaves the viewers feeling very un-easy and at the edge of their seat. You are unaware of what exactly is going on, but slowly get more and more pieces of the puzzle, and everything is revealed at the end. The final shot of this film is one of the most unsettling shots I have ever seen from a film. Is this film expertly directed and acted? No. Is this film one of the greatest thrillers I have ever seen? No. But this film is strongly underrated and certainly needs to be talked about more. My grade for this film is: