The Invitation (5/10)

The Invitation


While attending a dinner party at his former home, a man thinks his ex-wife and her new husband have sinister intention for their guests.

Title The Invitation
Director Karyn Kusama
Director of Photography
Runtime 1 h 30 min
Release Date 13 March 2015
IMDb Id tt2400463

Will and Eden were once married, but a tragedy drove them apart two years ago and they haven’t seen each other since. Now, Eden (Tammy Blanchard) and her new partner David (Michiel Huisman) have invited Will (Logan Marshall-Green) and his new partner over for dinner at their house, where Will and Eden used to live, along with about 8 other friends. It’s a nice idea to have the old gang together again, even if there is likely to be some old pain and tension still in the air.

From the moment they arrive at the house, Will feels unsettled. As the group reconnects and rekindles, his unease at times grows further – by signs of Eden’s apparent happiness whilst he is clearly still in pain from their shared tragedy, or by something her new partner David says or does, or by the fact that Eden and David have invited two strangers to join the old gang this night. At times his unease is somewhat put to rest – by his own partner Kira, or by talking to his friends who notice something is off with Will today. But is it Will who is off, or is there something else going on?

The Invitation is a very slow burn and build-up to a brief and explosive conclusion. In my opinion the build-up is too slow unfortunately. A long build up in itself is fine, but a slow burner still needs to burn and simmer at or just below boiling point throughout; this one stays lukewarm for too long for me. Real tension therefore isn’t sustained – it grows and then dissipates before it gets a chance to really stick. Even though Will never truly feels at ease for more than a minute, for the viewer the tension doesn’t get to an effective simmering point in the first hour – of course as viewer know something must happen, but you don’t really share the same level of anxiety as Will seems to have.

But the finale then delivers, and the final scene is a nice touch, which I’ll take as a nod to Fight Club’s final scene: indeed, we did meet these people at a very strange time in their lives…

Worth seeing if it crosses your path, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to track it down.


The Invitation (5/10)
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