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Invitation to Hell (1984)

A family moves to a suburban town only to be coerced into joining a suspicious club.



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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Jones
Mr. Thompson
Mary Peterson (as Patricia McCormack)
Grace Henderson
Greg Monaghan ...
Miss Winter
Anne Marie McEvoy ...
Janie (as Annemarie McEvoy)


A scientist and his family move to a new town. He meets the local celebrity the beautiful who runs the local health club to which everyone is a member and makes him suspicious. Intrigued he investigates further and uncovers a terrifying plot. Written by beerbohm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Horror Master Wes Craven turns a family's lifelong dream into their worst nightmare.


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Release Date:

24 May 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Invitación al infierno  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


ABC-TV Daytime-series 1983 contract with actress Susan Lucci for her featured "Erica Kane" role on ABC's "All My Children" (drama series: 1970-2011), guaranteed Susan Lucci a 'first' - a night-time "Movie of the Week" for her guaranteed extension as "Erica Kane" on the ABC daily/weekly soap-opera series. The network's night-time MOW programing division optioned Richard Rothstein to write a mystery. A science fiction-horror thriller scenario, specifically for Susan Lucci for ABC's 1983-1984 MOW night time season of specials. This project was planned to give Susan Lucci a dramatic opportunity - in hopes Lucci would be nominated in the night-time EMMY Best Actress category. The producing team: Robert M. Sertner (producer), Frank von Zerneck (executive producer) and Phillip Wylly Sr. (executive in charge of production & production manager) were entrusted to develop the property. When production was initiated at Culver City Studios (aka:The David Selznick Studio), Petko D. Kadiev, an accomplished story-board illustrator, was brought on board to illustrate and storyboard the original script. Production designer/art director Hub Braden was hired to preliminary budget, scout and design the sets. Jerry Esposito (construction supervisor and coordinator) and Tony Saenz (location manager) also joined the production creative film team. No director had been selected. The ABC night-time network-programing Suits and the producers negotiated to hire Wes Craven as the "Invitation to Hell" MOW director; ABC wanted Wes Craven because of his unique previous television and feature film writing and directing accomplishments. By the time Wes Craven joined the project's creative team, much of the project had been developed. Craven set about studying the script, viewing story-board script illustrations, and collaborating with the creative team on a few of the conceptual requirements. Between scouting sessions, rewriting and tweaking script dialogue, Craven was engrossed in the production. Casting had already determined Susan Lucci, featured as the female "Lucifer" - Jessica Jones; Robert Urich was to play Matt Winslow; Joanna Cassidy was Urich's character's wife Patricia "Pat" Winslow; and Kevin McCarthy as Mr. Thompson. Dean Cundy was hired as cinematographer. Wes Craven and the producers conducted casting-meetings, selecting the final cast performers. While discussing the script motivation during scouting locations on a Saturday morning, the production designer Braden suggested to Wes Craven and Robert Sertner to embellish the film's ending, by adding a "Hitchcock twist" setting up a sequel for the star Susan Lucci. Bob Sertner turned to Wes Craven, exclaiming, "Why didn't we think of that!" The dynamic team feared the network "suits" response dealing with an added twist, altering or tampering with the network's approved script. The only Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Creative Arts EMMY nomination for "Invitation to Hell" was in the category of "Art Direction". See more »


A pull wire is visible when Matt Winslow shoots Tom Peterson with a laser beam, throwing him back. See more »


Referenced in Craven Images: The Horror Hits of Michael Berryman (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

A good made for TV movie!
1 January 2003 | by See all my reviews

Robert Urich was a fine actor, and he makes this TV movie believable. I remember watching this film when I was 15, and when seeing it a second time my opinion stays the same. People lose who they were when enter this exclusive club, in a computer rich Californian town. Urich try's to figure out what is wrong with his family, and I love the Halloween space suit idea, brilliant. This film is about the battle of one's sprit. TV quality, that exceeds, the big budget, Gangs of New York. I wonder if Robert Urich was the compassionate man he portrayed in many of his movie? I hope so! 6 or 7 out of 10.

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