Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (Film Review: “The Invitation”)

the-invitation-POSTER2A reunion dinner party turns deadly in the tense and shocking film that will make you think twice before accepting your next RSVP.




SnapShot Plot

In the ingeniously constructed modern horror film, The Invitation, a group of old friends is summoned to the Hollywood hills home of Eden and David, a groovy couple whose blissy-trippy lifestyle radiates peace and harmony, but whose reason for arranging the reunion becomes increasingly sinister as the evening progresses.

In this impressive suspense story, Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus; Spider Man: Homecoming) is front and center as Will, whose previous marriage to none other than hostess, Eden ended in the wake of a personal tragedy from which he’s clearly still reeling. She, on the other hand, is so serene it’s creepy. And although Will too has since moved on and is now in a good relationship with girlfriend, Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi), he approaches the evening with a wary mixture of nerves and nostalgia, made worse by an upsetting incident on the dusk-filled road approaching the house, clearly a foreshadowing of the mayhem to come.

Once at the house, Will starts to feel that things aren’t what they appear, as he begins to unravel in front of the others and is made to doubt the truth of what he suspects is really going on. Couple that with the baggage of pain and resentment he feels toward Eden, and the inherent jealousy of her now-husband, David, and Will becomes the odd man out…..until all Hell breaks loose and beyond that would be a spoiler to explain.



Parting Shot

Director, Karyn Kusama (Girlfight) has proven that she can not only pull great performances out of a large ensemble cast but that she can whip up a frenzy of suspense and tension around every corner of this masterfully conceived horror film. It’s a steadily building sense of dread that plays mischievously somewhere at the intersection between suspicion and paranoia. In fact, every element in The Invitation succeeds –  from terse script to ace performances to piercing sound effects and a chilling musical score (by Theodore Shapiro), the end result being an utterly unnerving experience from start to shattering climax.

Any Big Chill comparisons (for the Boomers among us) will be swiftly put to rest somewhere between the first toasts of wine and the birthday cake, and the video, and the bars on the windows, and you get the picture.

The Invitation is presently streaming on Netflix.

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YouTube Trailer:

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