Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Thoughts on THE INVITATION (Drafthouse Films)

I want to offer my support to The Invitation released this past week on VOD from Drafthouse Films. Apparently it did well at SXSW, and I hear folks talking about it with great fervor. I even picked up the soundtrack on vinyl without seeing the movie at the time. I love it when the music of a movie is being enthusiastically praised before a flick even hits VOD. I watched it one morning while my baby napped, and even though it was midday, it managed to get under my skin.

The Invitation burns slow, and actually it's a quiet film as well. The double whammy of quiet and slow often knocks me out, but I was able to keep myself focused. I made a prediction early on in my viewing which turned out to be nearly dead on balls accurate. What I didn't know was that while I had guessed one twist, I did not guess the entire twist. It's that end result that has stuck with me since watching the movie and made discussing it rather difficult especially with those who haven't seen it. I won't spoil it now, but it's worth waiting for.

You have to rely on the performers to sell the movie to you. You have to pick a side, estimate who is telling the truth and who is possibly mentally ill, and you have to know who to love; who to care about. Figure that out early on, and then wait to see if you picked the winning horse or if you'd create victims out of some perfectly lovable folks. The action is limited, but the intensity occasionally spikes into some powerful, emotional scenes. There's a bit of mystery to the whole thing in almost a Clue board game sense of the word (Professor Plum not included). 

Gorehounds will have to leave their vomit bags at home. At first I hesitated to call this a Horror movie, but I assure you it is.  There are minimal effects and anything you'll love about this movie will be cerebral. This is definitely an early contender for my best of list for the year. I'm excited for the soundtrack to arrive, and hopefully we get a nice extra package on the Blu-ray that discusses the movie and introduces us to these well constructed characters further. 

One final note: I do NOT like the wine glass poster. I prefer the one used in this review.

From Drafthouse Films:

The sensational SXSW thriller from director Karyn Kusama (Girlfight).

In this taut psychological thriller by Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, Jennifer’s Body), the tension is palpable when Will (Logan Marshall-Green, Prometheus) shows up to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard, Into the Woods) and new husband David (Michiel Huisman, “Game of Thrones”). The estranged divorcees’ tragic past haunts an equally eerie present; amid Eden’s suspicious behavior and her mysterious house guests, Will becomes convinced that his invitation was extended with a hidden agenda. Unfolding over one dark evening in the Hollywood Hills, The Invitation blurs layers of mounting paranoia, mystery, and horror until both Will—and the audience—are unsure what threats are real or imagined.


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