An Intoxicating Thriller. Incredible. (by afrodome)
Sometimes I cannot understand the dissonance between me and a great number of movie reviewers on this page. I had not seen any trailers of the sort because I didn't want to preview parts that may spoil he movie. With that said, I'm so glad I watched this film. This ranks with Green Room as a real edge-of-your-seat kind of movie but for entirely different reasons. While Green Room is just a unhinged speed chase offroad in complete darkness, leaving you dizzy with blurting holy sh't every 10 seconds, The Invitation takes it's time while not letting the story flatline. The use of <more>
ominous shots and reverberating violins really give you that sense of unease. The buildup, the paranoia, the character-structuring, the heavy atmosphere all build up to a short and worthy second half of the film. Honestly, it's frustrating to see so many people give this movie a criminally low rating because 'nothing happens'? Was I watching the same movie? Because what I saw building up to the climax was some of the most gorgeous shots with very grounded characters that immersed me into the story. People react to a movie that they were expecting and it wasn't, so they rate it a 1. Really? This is a quality thriller that I recommend everyone check out.
The Invitation is by far the most suspenseful and creepy movie I have seen in a long time. From the very beginning I was pulled into the story and the characters, couldn't take my eyes off the screen. I can't say enough about the actors, they made the characters come alive and you felt something for each of them and their situations. Tammy Blanchard was superb as Eden, the goddess of her own home. Michiel Huisman, as her new man, delivered a fantastic performance as he carefully balanced that line between good and evil. And Logan Marshall-Green made me feel his grief, even before I <more>
knew what he was grieving about. The rest of the cast is equally as good. Some of the best moments are between Huisman and Marshall-Green, like two alpha males posturing for the upper hand.This movie really makes you feel uncomfortable with its awkward dinner dialogue and questionable party games. Its a slow burn, but not as slow as I was expecting as the dinner party antics keep you engaged. I loved the pace - I could feel my tension grow and subside along with the scenes. The ending is superb and thankfully not too drawn out. This is one where you say "hold on tight and enjoy the ride".Kudos to Karyn Kusama for giving us this gem that I might just break out at say, a dinner party?!
Where the hell did this one come from?? –The best, as they often say, is saved 'til last and that certainly proved to be the case when I caught Sunday night closer The Invitation at the 2015 Mayhem Film Festival in Nottingham UK six months ago. It was one of those rare occasions when a movie proves to be so creepily flesh crawlingly disturbing, that your levels of stress rise to the degree where you want to climb into the screen and scream "Make it stop! Make it stop!" It certainly did for me!Opening with a turbulent car journey, the story introduces us to invitees Will Logan <more>
Marshall Green and his partner Kira Emayatzy Corinealdi , arriving at his former home in the Hollywood hills. He is gathered with a group of old chums for an evening of fine cuisine and claret on tap hosted by his ex-wife, Eden Tammy Blanchard and her slimy new beau, David Michiel Huisman . Anxiety prevails and the atmosphere is still thick with fallout from the 'event' that drove Will and Eden apart.The hosts' have a couple of freaky new friends in attendance too, both of whom add ill-fitting girth to a conversation of new-age enlightenment born from Eden and David's explanation for their two year absence. Tremors of discomfort occur, not least from Will, who strongly begins to suspect his ex-Mrs and her creepy new fancy bit might be up to no good, harbouring sinister intentions for their guests. But as there is evidence to suggest Will may not have his mental faculties in order, his questionable grip on reality may be inducing paranoid delusions of the worst kind...Directing from a faultlessly constructed screenplay by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, helmer Karyn Kusama's very modern day Californian horror yarn plays like a riff on Brian Yuzna's Society gate crashing The Big Chill albeit with a better soundtrack , locking the audience into a swirling, dreamy toxic whirlpool of wobbly social etiquette versus let's-get-the-hell-out-of-here stigma that will keep you guessing which way it will fall from the first to last.The foundations of the story are built solidly on tragic events of the past and how the different paths people take to cope with personal trauma can lead to not necessarily opting for the best route home. There's also room for subtly humorous social commentary too, bravely poking fun at the money laundering spiritually guided pursuits of rich & gullible desperados residing in CA's tackiest resort. We see a landscape still terrorised by the odious spectres of Manson Family home invasions and Applewhite charlatan mantras casting long dark shadows across the backyard swimming pools and sun-bed patios. All of this is backdrop gravy however, and Kusama is sure never to let it drown out the supper's baton passing queasy mystery-drama into full blown thriller/horror trajectory.Cast iron control is wielded on the twelve strong cast too: the actors may get varying degrees of screen time, but every single character will, at some point, have your full undivided attention. Standouts John Carroll Lynch and Lindsay Burdge as Eden & David's brand new besties, Pruitt and Sadie respectively, will have you writhing in your chair with profound uneasiness, and Corinealdi as 'trophy wife' Kira, blows expectation out of the water when, with immaculate timing, Kusama finally lets her bolt from the stable.But it's Logan Green as Will who really gets under your skin. After vapid fare such as Devil and the disappointing Prometheus, he momentarily looked cursed with a 'We couldn't get Tom Hardy' millstone round his neck, doomed to a career clearing up in third rate fodder passed over by his thespian 'twin'. Not a chance. Coiffured in a 70's style Jesus locks & beard combo, he resembles a young, lean incarnation of The Big Lebowksi's Dude, going the whole distance with a performance worthy of Bridges at his haunted, brilliantly despondent best.And then there's Kusama. Up until now her slim CV - consisting of the acclaimed but forgotten Girlfight, and the unfairly maligned Aeon Flux and Jennifer's Body - had hardly set the world on fire. But she finally delivers on her initial promise with a muscular, mature and expertly nuanced piece of work that, if there's any justice in this sorry little world, will rightly escalate her profile into the ranks of the A- List.Her draw of influences is to be highly commended too where a recent interview had the director citing 1978's Invasion of the Body Snatchers as being at the forefront. The nervy edginess & unearthly autumnal lighting of Phillip Kaufman's remake is perfectly recaptured in texture & tone, not least with Will's explorations of his old residence courtesy of production designer Almitra Corey's trippy & treacherous interiors as he spies through door cracks and windows to be frustratingly denied the incriminating evidence he so desperately seeks. This beautifully mirrors Brooke Adams' similar detective antics in IOTBS as she surveys the in clandestine activities of her duplicated pod person fiancée.And just like Kaufman's undervalued masterpiece, Kusama reveals her Ace trump mere moments before the end credits roll with a final reveal outrageous and terrifying enough to freeze the blood, savvily hitting the satirical, lunatic heights of Network and Fight Club's most Iconic beats on its way. This one's a night to remember.Thought-provoking and powerful, The Invitation is a modern day master class in the art of suspense building and an instant classic that deserves to be seen in the cinema on a big screen. Seek it out whilst you can.
This is the kind of film that invites much thought during and afterward. The story leads you to constantly question what is really happening at any given moment, and whenever you are certain that you know exactly what is going to happen, something new appears to make you question that. There is a powerful and intense atmosphere of dread and stress throughout, all building to a terrifying conclusion, but I was taken unawares by how emotional the whole thing would be. This is a very poignant film. The characters seem real, and the performances are excellent, especially from the lead, Logan <more>
Marshall-Green. This film casts a very potent spell and I can say that days later I am still thinking about it. I can't think of anything quite like it. It certainly made me frightened to visit California.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the score for this film. It doesn't do it any justice, and some of the reviews I've read here don't make valid points in my opinion. So, I felt I owed this film my own review.First of all, the tension: man this thing has a killer build-up! You could call it slow if you're a Transformers kind of guy , but it never gets "boring". You're on the edge of your seat from the moment the film starts, partly due to a very subtle but creepy soundtrack, which reminded me of sound effects in some of David Lynch's movies. Adding <more>
to that is the fantastic performance of Logan Marshall-Green as the tormented Will. He, and the events that follow, will keep you guessing about his mental health and whether his paranoia is justified or not, almost until the end. Michiel Huisman plays the very smooth and lulling host to great effect, and the rest of the group of friends is also very believable and natural.THE scene no spoilers, you'll know which one I'm talking about when you see it! was so well done I really had the feeling I was there. It all happens so slow, so eerily apropos, and so jaw-droppingly unexpected that you really get the feeling of "oh my, that could be me out there". The little twist in the last couple of minutes is the cherry on the cake, and makes you even more uncomfortable than you already were.This is a case of an "ignore the scores, just watch it already!" film, and I hope you enjoy it every bit as much as I did!
A thriller for people who don't watch horror films (by crazycokedupdream)
I'm not going to give a review of this film. I'll leave that to others who can argue whether it was worth watch or not. For me, I feel it was one of the best thrillers with a horror bent that I have seen in a long while. But here's the thing, I don't really like horror films, avoid them most of the time, unless I heard a good word of mouth from someone. That's how I found The Invitation.After reading the reviews here, I would say the criticism falls in to two opposing camps. Those that thought it was thrilling, terrifying and well done movie and those who thought it was a <more>
waste of their time, slow and they saw all the punches coming.I think the difference is this, the latter camp watches a lot of horror films, nothing surprises them, they are looking for all the little nuances of all the other horror movies they have watched and are comparing them to the film they are currently watching. They are two - three steps ahead of a conventional audience and thus, nothing surprises them. To these folks, I can understand why the film fell flat, it's clear if you put the movie under a microscope you can tell what's going to happen and naturally with the purposefully drawn out pace of this film, they get bored waiting for the payoff.I, as well as the people who I have give / shown this film to, fall in to the other camp. We rarely watch films like this and therefore are willing to let it all play out without trying the guess what's going to happen next. It's certainly a creepy film and while we might imagine where it's going, we are willing to suspend our expectations and go along for the ride.My advice, watch this if you enjoy the ride up on the climbing roller coaster without thinking about the plunge when you reach the top.
Great Suspense early on and a Solid Climax (by MattBirk)
The Invitation will certainly go down as a hidden gem in the thriller/horror genre in the coming months. It was recently released on VOD with damn near no publicity so hopefully word-of-mouth will save this movie. So far it is a critical hit over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and was a hit at the numerous film festivals it premiered at months ago.LMG plays a damaged man who has been through a lot in his life and is still grieving for his past mistakes. He and a few others get invited to a mysterious dinner party where things go from normal to strange very, very quickly. But the interesting thing <more>
is only one character LMG seems to see the strangeness while everyone else is laughing it up and enjoying the night. It's interesting because he isn't afraid to speak his mind about how he feels the night is going and what he finds 'strange'. But the sad part is, he's seen as a damaged soul so his outbursts are immediately dismissed. It's the subtle clues he notices something as basic as a drinking game or a bottle of expensive wine that make The Invitation suspenseful. Tiny clues that leave you guessing that something larger is at play, which may or may not be the case. To say anything more would be potentially spoiling the movie, and with most movies, it's the ending that makes or breaks a movie and this one is no different. The ending is well worth the wait, so if you are a fan of suspenseful movies, this is one of the years must see thrillers.
Go in Blind - Don't Watch the Trailer or Read the Reviews (by gsuplee)
This film was a pleasant surprise. The only thing I knew about this movie was the buzz about it. There has been some talk of it being slow, but I disagree. I think the pacing is what builds up to....well, you'll see. And just when you think you know how it ends, you get a punch in the stomach with the final scene.Anyone who is crapping on this movie just didn't "get it". Logan Marshall-Green was tremendous in portraying both his grief and his paranoia. The coyote sequence at the beginning of the film is a harbinger of things to come, and oh-so-symbolic. A truly wonderful <more>
film. I tip my hat to everyone involved in making this gem of a movie.
none of these zombies have a clue. (by andreah-12955)
On the surface level, a very good thriller. It had my heart racing and my palms sweating bullets to the end, and I really appreciated the completely unique approaches to situations we've seen in movies our whole lives. There are many layers to this film but I'll first address the surface. I see many reviews here saying the plot was predictable....... Please understand that knowing that these people were indoctrinated into a cult is necessary. The film didn't really rely on the fact that the bad guys were in a cult to scare the audience. The tension was built and mounted upon <more>
knowing this, and slowly seeing the dinner party red wedding go from catastrophe to catastrophe without there being a killing spree. You think the killing is going to be around this corner, or that one, but they keep the tension going. This was the scary element or one of the more obvious ones. So if you didn't like the movie because it was "too easy to figure out they were in a cult": Congratulations, you're retarded. I noticed a few details; for example, there was red in every scene. There were very delicately placed pillars in very importance scenes; it's funny how Hollywood will leave their clues while explaining very important concepts that are perhaps beyond the storyline of the film. There was a repetitive symbol, which appeared to be an x within a circle Has many meanings plastered all over all the windows and many pieces of furniture, while curiously placed on the red lantern again, very interesting symbolism hung up in the lawn. The lantern in and of itself is worth mentioning, I can't decide it if signified the blood sacrifice to the ox x within the circle or what, but it's significant can't be appreciated here regardless. This film definitely paid attention to details. One of the key details in indicating who made this film and what it is actually about was the six point star not so randomly stitched into the pillow on the couch, seen as soon as will arrived at the house. I liked the sun salutations at the beginning of the oc cult video on the laptop, followed by an image of the moon at the end, and I especially liked the aleister Crowley look alike who spoke of his wife, who reminded him of "the morning" and "the light." What interesting descriptors! And then one detail that really spoke to me: David David was very interesting name choice for historical reasons, he was the father of Solomon was a music producer. He seemed pretty manipulative to me; David was very manipulative over Eden also interesting name, nice pure white dress while the anorexic waif like insane character was obsessed with the aleister Crowley doppelgänger, he clearly had her psychologically unde his thumb. And she very clearly had been traumatized from past abuse. Interestingly enough, the movie mentioned "redirecting trauma".. Anyways, According to Eden and David, their program was practiced by thousands of people in la and New York. How interesting. How interesting, that he was a music producer, and the end reveals that he is one of many sacrificing innocents to the ox. A legion, almost! Well played Hollywood. The devil certainly is in the details. Trust me, no one has a clue what your movies are actually about. It's probably better that way. I for one certainly don't explain to people what these movies are truly about anymore, because they'll think I'm insane, maybe not so ironically- just like the main character of the film who could see through the friendly facade and everyone thought he was paranoid. Well played, Hollywood. But that all aside, great acting, great script, score, beautiful cinematography, and a great thriller. I highly recommend this fascinating film.