The Invitation is, in a word, irritating. It overflows with
unnecessarily jumpy flashbacks and blurred memories in an effort to
appear mysterious. The movie wants you to believe that it is
complicated and deep. But it isn't. The movie is simple and shallow.
The filmmakers spend so much time stuffing our faces with distracting, strange music and even stranger behavior of the dinner guests in an attempt to unnerve viewers. They want you to find the evening weird (which it is) and confusing (which it isn't) so you will have doubts about what will happen (you shouldn't because the answer is obvious).
Here is the premise of the movie (I will write this as simplistically as the movie presents it). Old friends who haven't seen each other in years all arrive at a dinner party hosted by one friend and her new husband. The night is basically a reunion except everyone is a little uncomfortable to see each other again. So actually it's just a reunion.
As the evening carries on the hosts exhibit increasingly odd behaviors, which make the guests uncomfortable and the protagonist (a bearded, long-haired man named Will) suspicious. The hosts are both awkwardly happy, which the hostess explains is due to their choice to do away with negative emotions. As if human beings can simply choose not to experience any undesirable feelings. Her pontification is extremely irritating to hear and extremely false.
Later, the hosts show everyone a video of a 20something year old cancer patient dying and beam about how wonderful it is, how wonderful death is because it is the only way to truly be free.
"Are you guys in a cult?" One guest blurts the question that needed asking.
They are. Obviously. Of course they deny half-heartedly then attempt to distract everyone with a bizarre new party game. I'll spare the details, just know that it makes the guests uncomfortable.
After watching this scene, most viewers probably expect the remainder of the movie's plot to play out in a painfully predictable sequence. It does. Once again I will spare the details since certain readers may still want to watch this movie for some reason. Rest assured that nothing will surprise you.
I mentioned how much this movie irritated me, and I want to briefly speak on that point once more. I will mention particulars about the opening scene and how it connects with the remainder of the movie. Here we go.
*Minor Spoiler Alert* The film opens with a couple (Will and his girlfriend) driving to a dinner party that neither seems particularly excited to attend, a relatable concept for many of us. The car suddenly hits a coyote, in serves as the first jump scare of the movie. Will exits the vehicle to inspect the situation and eventually mercy kills the animal with a tire iron.
I am uncertain about the purpose of this scene. Maybe it was merely an unsettling appetizer for the uncomfortable dinner party that followed. Perhaps it was just a red herring, like much of the movie. Maybe it was intended to introduce the cult's message that dying is the only way to escape from pain.
Maybe, but I hope not because it's a terrible parallel to the beliefs of the cult member dinner hosts. The coyote's circumstances don't apply at all to any of the attendees of the dinner party. The coyote experiences excruciating pain and will die within minutes. The people were not injured. None of them were hit by cars. None of them are sick. They are going to live healthy and happy lives for the next 40 or 50 years. Sure, they have their struggles, but they will have plenty of opportunities to be happy. The coyote will not.
*End of Spoiler* And I'm finished. Sorry for the rant. The whole movie caused me such irritation that I needed to vent to make myself feel better. To avoid similar irritation of your own, I recommend watching something else.
Action / Drama / Horror / Mystery / Thriller
Action / Drama / Horror / Mystery / Thriller
Will and Eden were once a loving couple. After a tragedy took their son, Eden disappeared. Two years later, out of the blue, she returns with a new husband... and as a different person, eerily changed and eager to reunite with her ex and those she left behind. Over the course of a dinner party in the house that was once his, the haunted Will is gripped by mounting evidence that Eden and her new friends have a mysterious and terrifying agenda. But can we trust Will's hold on reality? Or will he be the unwitting catalyst of the doom he senses?
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April 17, 2016 at 06:52 PM