The Invitation ( 2023 / Horror/Thriller/ Netflix)
Director -Jessica M. Thompson
Cast -Nathalie Emmanuel,Thomas Doherty, Stephanie Corneliussen, Alana Boden, Hugh Skinner
After the death of her mother and having no other known relatives, Evie takes a DNA test and discovers a long-lost cousin she never knew she had. Invited by her newfound family to a lavish wedding in the English countryside, Evie’s at first seduced by the sexy aristocratic host. However, she’s soon thrust into a nightmare of survival as she uncovers twisted secrets about her family history and the unsettling intentions behind their sinful generosity
** Spoiler Alert **
Invitation’s first half feels like a cheesy rom-com movie. If you like that genre, you might like the first half.
But let me warn that the dialogues feel clunky and don’t add weight to the narrative. Forget about supporting the narrative, they bring it down further lowering the impact.
As far as the horror element is concerned, the occasional jump scares did distract me from the ever-present mediocrity in the proceedings though they were kinda unwarranted. But I get that the intention of it being a horror movie, the makers were probably trying to “set up” something.
Unfortunately the execution related to the payoff feels jaded and mediocre. Not that the intended payoff is bad, but the execution is extremely wayward.
Their genuine attempt about telling a vampire-related story is commendable, but intentions aren’t enough to make it engaging.
This movie for sure, needed some re-writes or multiple re-writes as the writers seem unsure of what they wanted to make, a rom-com or horror or both or a combination of both with vampire lore.
It gets messy even as I am trying to explain, then just imagine watching this unfold. Good in a chaotic way? No! Just Chaotic!
The choppy editing with the unnecessary cuts reminded me of Indian soap opera minus the background score. Another aspect where the editing sorely fails is the uneven pacing, the first half feels too fast and the second half feels ploddingly slow.
While the movie tries to be cheesy, the climax is like a dull thud, and feels so detached from the tone of the overall movie that it sticks out like a sore thumb.
All’s well that ends well, but when it doesn’t, it feels like this movie.
Overall, even though the Invitation is well-intentioned,it misses the mark when it comes to the execution.