Will and his new girlfriend Kira attend a dinner party hosted by Will’s ex-wife, Eden and her new husband, David who have been away in Mexico for the past two years. What should be a night of reminiscing and laughter turns sour and tense when Eden and David’s strange behaviour makes Will tense and suspicious. The Invitation goes from a strange, psychological drama to a gripping and tense thriller within in minutes keeping us guessing right until the very end. At first it seems what we’re dealing with is the fragile state of a man’s sanity; having lost their son a few years previous, Will and Eden went their separate ways with Eden going to Mexico. Now back in one another’s lives, in the house they once shared as a family, Will is reliving all those heart breaking moments of the death of his son. Some deliberate editing, floaty camera work and a terrific performance from Logan Marshall-Green make it difficult to differntiate between the reality and paranoia. Is everything we’re seeing as odd as it appears? Or are we witnessing a man’s descent into a nervous breakdown?
The Invitation has a really distinct atmosphere. At times it gets a little uncomfrotable; as though we’re an invisible member of the group and we’re seeing things and hearing conversations we aren’t supposed to be in on. From the opening scene, where Will and Kira accidentally run over a coyote and kill it, there’s something distinctly off about the whole situation. The way the camera moved and the film was edited it reminded me of Coherence in its cinematography.
The setting for The Invitation worked wonderfully. It’s one of those dream houses with a beautiful view and a gorgeous interior that everyone dreams of. But watching films such as this one, puts you off the idea of being in that secluded confinement. Being the main setting for the film (the only other is a deserted road) really complements the small cast. 12 people inside one house all night meant that emotions and energy really bled out of this film and affected the way you viewed it.
What struck me most while watching it was the film’s score. It wasn’t a film that relied on its music for atmosphere but when used it was practically perfect. The right balance between eerie and unsettling.
The Invitation is a slow burner with a great cast and a solid plot with not only one but two twists that come right towards the end, leaving us in the balance long after the film.
Image credits: IMDB