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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Too muddled and too much of everything

Author: Catharina_Sweden from Sweden
11 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The problems with this movie are three:

1. It is too muddled. It is impossible to know what is real, what is a dream, what is a hallucination, what is a flashback etc.. The attempts to do it more interesting by turning the camera around and taking shots from "interesting" angles also just made it more confusing. The ending was strange and unsatisfying.

2. There is simply too much of everything. Ghosts, demons, snakes, an Ouija board, a portal to another world, the magic circle, the doll, the old lady, the medium... yes even the Devil himself. Did I forget something..? One gets used to it, tires, and stops reacting by shock/surprise very early on. It is much better to chose only one or a couple of those ingredients, and concentrate on that.

3. There is too much blood and gore and mutilated bodies here. This does not make the movie more scary in any positive sense - but only unpleasant.

The only thing that redeems this movie a little are the very good actors - considering what they had to work with!

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Not good

Author: tewilliams-1 from United States
12 June 2010

I too saw the Sacramento Film Festival showing. I really, really WANTED to like this movie. I didn't. It was disjointed and at times illogical. The elements are there, but it definitely needs more editing. A lot more editing. I think it is telling that in at least one of the cast lists online one of the main actor's photo(Carlos Alazraqui) is represented by a cartoon monkey, which doesn't seem like a ringing endorsement. Oddly, Carlos' character was portrayed the most interestingly. I also thought Megan Ward, who played the primary protagonist, did a good job. Lou Diamond Phillips wasn't up to par, but, again, that could be an issue with editing. Or not.

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Bad attempt at Psychological Thriller

Author: just_acting_up from United States
19 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I also saw this film's screening at the Sacramento Film Festival and agree that it is about one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Besides some decent cinematography and nice locations, the film was a complete let-down. A majority of the acting was pathetic, and to think that director McKinney is coaching aspiring film actors at a studio in Sacramento is ridiculous. The plot line was far too simple, and the dialog left so much to be desired. The pace of the film and editing was way too slow at times, the thrilling moments seemed predictable. The only shock was at the very end, and then the film just leaves you hanging, not understanding the purpose at all.

McKinney spends so much time hitting the audience over the head with religious overtones, but then you don't really understand to what purpose. A main character, Natalie Shaw, wonderfully played by Ellen Dow, accidentally unleashes this evil as a child. But she has apparently lived a full and decent life if she is over 90 years old at the end of the film! We see her with rosary beads in her retirement home, so she must have achieved some personal faith and belief in God during her lifetime. But when she attempts to destroy the evil "spirit board" the devil sucks her into hell? So... if the lesson of the film is... "have faith or the devil is going to get you" then she still ends up being sucked to hell, so where's the reasoning? Looks like a whole lot of money was spent on actors and visual effects on a real dud of a script and no direction. There is no dialog about why the mother doesn't want her baby baptized (apparently an important trait about why her character has no faith.) She screams and kicks uncontrollably while doctors are trying to help her save her baby... how unrealistic! The most annoying thing is everyone keeps going back into this house that is possessed, and the spiritual guide (a decent cameo by Pam Grier) tells them to get out, several people have already died... would you go back in? Also, in McKinney's bio he claims to have directed "over 60 films" but when you look at his IMDb credits, there's not much there. He's given the film festival's legend award? What a joke!

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

What an embarrassment for Sacramento

Author: stephendelp99 from United States
21 June 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

No one looks forward to writing a scathing review of a movie. I think most would say that one always looks to be genuinely entertained when spending one's money on a ticket. Who WANTS to be disappointed going into a flick? No one. Which is the attitude I went in with when seeing this movie at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento last month. OH MY GOD. This ninety-some-odd-minute painful excuse of a film was, hands down, the worst movie I have ever viewed in my 30 years of watching movies. I do not mean this to be cruel to the filmmaker or the cast; I mean it literally. Absolute drivel from start to finish with some of the most melodramatic, cliché and predictable dialogue ever put to paper. I love a good horror flick as much as anyone, but there was nothing, not one single thing, in this movie that was scary or even admirable where horror film-making is concerned. Why? Because the filmmaker apparently decided to employ every and any "scary" device or trick or sound effect he'd ever heard or seen before in a horror movie and it therefore backfired as unrelenting silly moments of predictable cliché. By the way, what's with Pam Grier showing up at the house with this bizarre "slave accent", only to have that same silly accent disappear once they're all up in the attic? I took additional offense to this movie once I learned that the director is an acting coach in Sacramento. I repeat. OH MY GOD. Like Simon Cowell chewing out horrible singers when he learns that some of them are "singing teachers" back in their hometown, he should have this director standing before him; he'd have a field day with McKinney. The acting in The Invited is so bad - Lou Diamond Phillips being the worst of the lot - that the filmmaker might find it prudent to switch his credit to an Allen Smithee film. No joke. This movie could literally kill his business as an acting coach. Then again, would that be so bad? A famous director once said, "With such easy access nowadays to digital film-making cameras and editing tools, virtually anyone can be a filmmaker. BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN THEY NECESSARILY SHOULD. If The Invited is representative of the quality and caliber of film-making in the Sacramento region, then Sacramento film-making is indeed in deep s--t.

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12 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Horrible Movie!!! Beware!!

Author: S D from United States
18 April 2010

I saw this film last night at the Sacramento Film Festival and it is, by far, the worst fill-length film I have ever seen. This is not an exaggeration. I've seen some bad movies and this tops them all. It's not even all the blood that makes it's the entire story. It's filled with cliché plot lines and has so many loose ends that you're left wondering what the director was thinking. The word at the festival is that he has a prequel and sequel to film, but I really hope he doesn't. They're only bound to be worse than this one and I don't want to see them.

I know some people who read the original script and was told post-film what the original ending had been. The original ending would have been far superior and would have made actual sense to the overall story, but no. The director decided on an ending that was hideous, unnecessary and sick. In fact, I would label this entire film as unworthy of anyone's time and/or money.

I will say that the only bright spot in this film is Ellen Dow. She's always awesome.

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The Ouija Strikes Again

Author: Alan Bannacheck from Minnesota, United States
24 July 2015

The Ouija Board has always been a favorite theme in horror and within five minutes past the opening credits we witness a young girl crafting her own on an wooden circle to communicate with her dead brother. It is the year 1920 and the film begins in black and white at an old farmhouse, which happens to have a family cemetery out back. The girl anxiously goes to her brothers grave to test her device with horrible repercussions.

The movie forwards into the present with our protagonist Michelle, an author of children's fiction, and her husband Jack meeting a realtor at the same farmhouse. At that moment you can guess that she will find the Ouija board and unleash it's menace (especially if she uses it alone).

The best thing about the Invited was it steered clear from the possession motif notable in the Witchboard trilogy and most recently in Ouija. It does offer some scares and a few gruesome effects that make you forgive some cheap CGI effects deployed. The acting is believable and the character Michelle is like able enough to keep you watching what unfolds. Any horror fan should give it a go.


Alan Bannacheck Minneapolis, MN

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11 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

This movie is not for wimps.

Author: Dee-in-Sacramento
24 June 2010

This movie is not for wimps. Its many plot twists and surprises will have you on the edge of your seat, if not hiding under it. Ladies, be sure to have your man beside you when you go to see this film. It is far better to have someone you know whose arm you can grab, rather than to scare some poor, strange guy next to you. Veteran actress Ellen Dow was great as Natalie Shaw, as was newcomer Rhett McKinney as Roger, and the setting of the foothills of the Sierras was beautiful. Mr. McKinney artfully told his story within the time and budget constraints of an indie film. Although a basic story line, the plot had plenty of depth for thinkers.

I viewed this film in the vintage Crest Theatre in Sacramento. I look forward to seeing its release in modern venues where theatergoers will benefit from up-to-date sound and projection equipment. Northern California is fortunate to have Ryan McKinney at the helm in promoting the movie industry in the Sacramento area. His passion, drive, and ethics are inspirational. I cannot wait to see where he takes us next.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Oh the religious overtones...

Author: stormiepsy
2 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't do a lot of reviews but this one is more of a warning to horror fans than anything. I love all kinds of horror and have since I was a child. But haunting and possession have always been my favorites. So I try to never pass up on those. This movie started out OK and I didn't even mind the occasional religious nod. Hell, lots of really good horror movies do it. But they don't OVERdo it. The story was going along fine even if it was slow in spots. The acting was decent. Not Academy Award decent, but decent all the same. Most of the cinematography was alright. There were parts that were unnecessary like the 4 different shots of the main character shutting a door and nothing climatic happens. Or some of the slow motion shots. There was absolutely no purpose for any of that. And then the religion starts up again. Only people of faith can be saved from the wrath of the board. If you have no faith and you smudged your blood on it even accidentally you have to give up your soul to it like those before you (this type of stuff was repeated numerously by several different characters). This movie should have been touted as religious propaganda then a horror film. The only reason why I gave it a 4 instead of a 1 is because:

1) they had a guy in it with actual real tattoos that weren't stickers and he wasn't portrayed as a convict, gangster, drug addict, street thug, satanist or a biker which is almost unheard of.

2) Pam Grier is in it and I love that lady

3) Lou Diamond Phillips is in it and even tho he doesn't have the best track record when it comes to blockbuster movies at least he's consistent and

4) I liked the Papa Roach song at the end. And I'm not even a big fan of Papa Roach.

5) the ending was pretty cool and true to the genre, FINALLY!

Oh,and the male nurse was kind of funny. If it wasn't for those things this movie would have earned a much lower score from me.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

worst movie endorsed by trolls: beware

Author: christosplvs from nova scotia
6 July 2015

This is the worst movie ever. It is entertaining to laugh at, but in no other way is it watchable. Sorry. If you read good reviews, you are being trolled! Seriously, it's that bad. I think even the director is in on the joke.

The script is terrible, the special effects are unbelievable (not in a good way) and the acting could be better. However, it doesn't matter because it is one hot mess.

We had fun, but kinda wished we picked something else to watch. The plot, which was possible, was all over the place. It was predictable with only the most bizarre events blindsiding your senses. It could have been so much better.

Keep looking.

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7 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Old school supernatural thriller

Author: rapalabaffin
12 June 2010

I saw the sneak screening of this at The Crest Theater in Sacramento during the Sac Int'l Film Fest. "The Invited is a true horror film in homage to Hitchcock and other old school thrillers. It had a captivating storyline as well as good heart pumping suspense. I screamed from the beginning of the movie to the very end! The special effects were amazing and the acting was honest. Ryan McKinney's vision of this story is so vivid that you will come away from it trembling and very paranoid. This film has a little of everything including romance and action.I can't wait to see it again in theaters! And yes, I will scream my little heart out.

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