Release year: 2015
Director: Karyn Kusama
Screenwriter: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman, Michelle Krusiec, John Caroll Lynch
Will (Logan Marshall-Green) and Eden (Tammy Blanchard) used to be married, but losing their son drove them apart. Two years since they last spoke, Will is suddenly invited to his old home together with new girlfriend Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi) where Eden and new husband David (Michiel Huisman) are gathering all the old friends for the first time since the tragic event, which happened when they were all present. But during the dinner party, Will can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong. Very wrong.
The Invitation differs from most horror movies, in that it through most of its running time, is a bonafide character driven drama with strong elements of the thriller genre, mostly present in the effective and unnerving score and the suspicions of the lead character. But just as you begin to wonder if this even belongs in the horror genre, it delivers an almost unbearably tense ending – but no more about that, this is definitely best when you know as little as possible. The cast all do an amazing job, especially Marshall-Green (Prometheus, 2012), who shows a perfect example of the power of underplaying, as he with few words and a face hidden behind long hair and a full beard, still manages to shows strong emotions and project his tense feelings and suspesion on to the audience. Blanchard (Into the Woods, 2014) and Corinealdi (Middle of Nowhere, 2012) also impress as the woman from his past and from his present, respectively, but the entire cast generally impress as Kusama (Jennifer’s Body, 2009) directs them towards the climax with strong and secure hands leaving you eager to see more from her, preferably another in the thriller/horror genre! You can call it ‘The Thinking Man’s’ horror’ or a slow burning horror mystery, or you can just call it a damn well structured movie that deserves to become a classic of its genre.
The director and the writers had complete creative control on the film, as it was independently produced without any involvement from major studios.
If you want to read more about The Invitation check out Irish scholar Bernice M. Murphy’s article on loss and bereavement in horror film. You can read it by clicking here.
Picture copyrights: Filmbuff