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|Index||95 reviews in total|
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 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.
A powerful feature film. Despite some reminiscence (group of friends, dinner, the house atmosphere, colors) with "Coherence" is undoubtedly an original movie. A very interesting point made by the director (who had already done Girlfight and Jennifer's Body) over a possible processing of the pain of a loss, in a quite denying way, perhaps cynical, reaching extremes of aggressiveness. A lot of tension, making us doubt who you believe (or even what is real) at every step, until the crux of the matter comes; you may wait a little for that, but it's worth it. Point for the director for not using low blows. Worthwhile if you want to spend a very intense time. With regards to actors' work, "Will" comes out unscathed. "Eden" maybe a little artificial, but I think it is an intentional nuance given by the director. The rest comes off well. The screenplay is pretty good. Although it is not revolutionary, the pace is accurate, keeps the suspense, and plays with ambiguity.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Invitation is the new psychological thriller from Karyn Kusama (the superb Girlfight and the awful, messy sci-fi action thriller Aeon Flux, etc) and is a study in delusion, paranoia and suspicion. This is a slow burn horror story about a reunion of old friends that goes horribly wrong. Will (Logan Marshall-Green, recently seen in Madame Bovary, etc) has reluctantly accepted an invitation to attend a dinner party reunion with some old friends at the house he once owned with his ex-wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard). But since their divorce Eden now lives in the house with her new husband David (Michiel Huisman), whom she met on a retreat in Mexico while recovering from a nervous breakdown. Will is still grieving over the tragic death of his son, and is in a fragile emotional state. He begins to feel that something is not quite right about the gathering, but is he unnecessarily paranoid or does he have reason to be concerned? There are early portents that something is wrong, and a palpable air of uneasiness and distrust soon overtakes the gathering. When the hosts insist on playing a rather unsettling parlour game the awkwardness further enhances the growing sense of uneasiness. Writers Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (Crazy/Beautiful, the dire buddy cop comedy Ride Along, etc) have created a cast of oddball characters to add to the creepy atmosphere. Most of the cast is not that well known, which works in the film's favour. John Carroll Lynch has a vaguely sinister and menacing presence as the mysterious stranger Pruitt. The action is confined to a single location and Kusama makes the most of the claustrophobic setting, slowly ramping up the tension until the film bursts into full on mayhem and carnage. The impact of the final shot is devastatingly effective as the full horror of what is happening is revealed.
So I watched this movie, already kinda knowing the feel of the story but wasn't too sure of the premise. But as time progressed, it became crystal clear where this movie was going. This is the kinda of movie that really have you think that people are people, are not people, but live very dark lives, and that, nothing is as it seems. This one blew me away. Even after realizing what this film was about, I was still taken aback of how the story unfolded. This movie is definitely not for the faint of heart. For mature audiences only. Overall I love it, story, characters, even the ending took me by surprise. This is a conversation movie, you know, the kind you talk about after leaving the theater. I'll watch again, this time with friends.
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 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?!
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
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 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!
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
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 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.
While some invitations shouldn't be accepted in the first place, there
are also people you probably should not have invited in the first
place. And just like that, you find yourself in a house with a lead we
are supposed to care for. And we do feel his struggle, his pain, but
also his tendency to kind of lose it. But why you may ask, is this
happening? We can't get any more in the head of the lead than we
already are, so it's up to you to piece the puzzle.
A great lead performance, with a wicked script that constantly is challenging the viewer to guess what is going on. It's wicked in the best sense possible and I certainly will not dive into more "story" (though some would argue I haven't anyhow up until now). But the way this progresses and the more is revealed, the more the viewer is intrigued by what is happening - or sometimes not happening. What and where do we play now? Can we believe what we see and what it ultimately means? This was one of my highlight films of 2015 and I may have added an extra point (so 9/10 may have been applicable too), but I just love how this played out ... literally!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First of all, movies like this should not be categorized as horror
since it is a thriller at its best. There is a big difference between a
thriller and a horror. Movies like 'The Exorcist', 'Paranormal
Activity' are horror movies, whereas movies like 'Scream', 'Saw',
'Final Destination' are thrillers.
Regarding 'The Invitation', the first 1 hour and 20 minutes just "build up" to what is coming next: 15 minutes of quick and easy deaths.
It was very easy to predict what is the "big and unexpected" revelation or twist. The moment they played the video of the dying woman and you realize a cult is involved, it became obvious that a mass murder or suicide was the intention behind the invitation.
I was expecting, or let me put it this way, it would have been much more dramatic if the characters were convinced to take their own lives. especially since it was mentioned that "everyone has suffered from a loss". The guy who showed up late for example, imagine that he had arrived 3 hours earlier for real and was convinced to take out his own life on video, and then the tape was played to his girlfriend, who thinks she has nothing to live for and was the first one to do it. I know this might sound a bit crazy, but I think it would have achieved a much better dramatic and intense outcome for viewers.
The only surprising element was the ending when they realize that it was not only them in this situation.
To sum up, the build up should have been much shorter and more suspenseful, and the last 20 minutes of the movie should have been more intense and better written and directed.
Upon seeing the trailer for this movie, I thought I had figured it out
for the most part. While not explicit in revealing the plot, the scenes
and dialogue snippets used give a lot away. As the credits rolled, I
was amazed at how much of the movie I had expected, and amazed at how
it retained my attention regardless.
The movie is set at a dinner party, where most of the guests are friends or their +1s. Once everyone is gathered, it quickly becomes clear that there is an ulterior motive to sending out the invitations. I won't say what that motive is, but you can probably guess from the trailer. The main character is the archetypal unreliable narrator. At any given moment, my opinion of if he was delusional or perfectly reasonable was in constant flux. The tension is maintained throughout, both through the camera work and the soundtrack.
The main character continues to cause a scene, and soon the dinner party swells into chaotic action. While much of this is unsurprising, the final scene is what blew me out of the water. Again, I'll say nothing about it, but I was rooted to my seat for countable minutes thinking about what had just occurred. Highly recommended.
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