THE INVITATION

Should I? Status: Would Watch

Available From Netflix

What You’re Afraid Your Ex Will Be(come)

THE QUICK AND DIRTY DEETS

  • Sub-genre: Psychological Horror, Your Ex Isn’t The Best
  • High on ultra-reality; you’d be scared too cuz it could happen to you
  • Low on jump scares; ultra-low on CGI

THOTS

It’s funny, there’s no obvious reason why this movie should remind me of Hush, but it does. I think it’s the subgenre here that really leads me to tie the two together: although one is a robbery story, and one is an attempt-at-redemption-gone-wrong, they’re both really psychological thrillers on a core level. The Invitation, like The Silenced, was a bit of a surprising departure from good ol’ favorites for me, and a random Netflix choice. However, it proved eminently satisfying, and I recommend it with clear conscience. 

The Invitation is the kind of movie that begins to get you because it’s inherently quite possible. Although one might wonder why any ex would agree to a dinner party hosted by their previous partner, the reasons the film gives are both solidly built and, indeed, after a movie’s worth of explanation through dialogue and interaction, fully believable. As horror movies go, this lends the plot an undeniable satisfaction, not to mention a creepy thrill. You could see this happening to you, maybe in 10, or 20 years, depending on your age, but happening nonetheless. I think that’s what I love about The Invitation: it’s one of those horror movies you can believe. It’s unlike all the fantastical ones where reality is warped or you have to suspend your skepticism about the fact that a serial killer is supposedly both cancer-infected and on the loose long enough to justify 7 films (yes, I’m looking at you, Saw series). This is the film’s greatest strength. And, for the first time, I’d like to call out a film’s acting – every person playing each character in The Invitation does a very solid job.

There are moments where The Invitation will make you doubt the MC’s sanity. And there are moments where it will make you doubt yours, for believing in his.

The Invitation provides a satisfying script with dialogue that’s believable and lays down, time and time again, both context as well as emotional depth into each of our characters. While, at the end, it’s not one of those movies that keeps one up at night, fretting about what’s going bump under the bed, the movie’s very fully worth the time investment. It might not come back to you when you’re walking alone on a street at night, but it’ll come back to you when you talk to your friends after they experience trauma. It’ll come back to you when you’re meeting people for the first time. It’ll make you wonder, who are they, really? And what, exactly, are they capable of?

I heavily recommend The Invitation. I’ll even be honest – by this time last year, I’d felt I pretty much exhausted Netflix’s offering of “best” horror movies, left with dregs in the vein of The Houses October Built and similar. The Invitation and The Silenced have really encouraged me to dive into Netflix’s horror offerings once again. The streaming service seems to have upped its game, or at least, mixed up its movie selection a sufficient amount (at last – finally!) 

I hope you enjoy watching.

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