The Invitation Review
I think I am just scared out of my mind of cults. A few years ago, I watched a horror movie called "The Sacrament," which was basically a fictional retelling of the Jonestown Incident of 1978. Even though you can predict what will happen by the end of "The Sacrament," its still terrifying, it still gets under your skin. I obsessed over it weeks after I saw it, and really as far as horror movies go, nothing much happens. Doesn't matter, it got to me. I think certain subject matter irks me, and that matter is cults. I can't begin to imagine what it would take for a person to drop their lives and join a very strange and very controlling community. But, to each their own, I guess.
"The Invitation" is about a couple who gets forcefully drawn into a cult plot. There is a character that sees the whole movie coming, and its a massive ticking time bomb until the finish. Of course, its the type of movie where the audience knows something bad will happen, the main character knows something bad will happen, but nobody believes him. Yeah, its not the best horror film in the world, but it definitely sparked my attention due to its subject matter. It revolves around a crazy cult who has sinister plans for a particular dinner party. I just wish the movie had been scary.
There is some subtle stuff that is freaky, like a scene when a woman is making creepy faces in a mirror all by herself. There is also a scene were a cult official is aiding someone who is about to commit suicide. There is a massive morbid feel throughout this entire movie, and racks up the stakes and the atmosphere of the movie. But I need more than just stakes and atmosphere. It certainly helps a horror movie, but it doesn't make it all the way good. There isn't a lot of content in this movie that is scary. I was hoping for bigger moments. But they never came. Sadly, the rest of the movie is just the main character trying to convince his friends that this cult thing is bad, and they not believing him. I liked the set-up and premise for most of the movie. I just wished they did more with it.
Logan Marshall-Green plays Will, the hero of our story who is trying to get everybody to believe him. Will takes his girlfriend Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi) to a dinner party of an ex-wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard). Will and Eden split after the death of their son. Eden apparently has found salvation from her sons death through a cult called "The Invitation" which is represented at the party by Pruitt (John Carrol Lynch). "The Invitation" is just like every other creepy movie cult. But the work done by Lynch is as creepy and as menacing as anything he has ever done. The performances are good across the board. They are just doing very basic character moments, instead of anything big or fascinating.
I have liked Drafthouse Films so far and the movies they buy and promote. I just can't say anything big about this one. It seemed like a pretty ordinary horror movie to me. It has a great premise, and as much as I fear cults, perhaps I was a target audience member. There is good acting throughout, but there are not many scares, and not much suspense.
FINAL GRADE: C-