the invitation | karyn kusama | phil hay | matt manfredi | logan marshall-green | emayatzy corinealdi | michiel huisman | drama | mystery | thriller | united states | cult | john carroll lynch | tammy blanchard | michelle krusiec | mike doyle | jordi vilasuso | jay larson
Film: The Invitation
Director: Karyn Kusama
Writer: Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi
Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Emayatzy Corinealdi and Michiel Huisman
This was a film that I was turned on to from podcasts that I listen to. I had heard some good things about it so I figured I’d give it a chance. The official synopsis is while attending a dinner party at his former home, a man thinks his ex-wife and her new husband have sinister intentions for their guests.
This is definitely a slow-burn type. For me, it is great to see Will (Logan Marshall-Green) who is grieving over the death of his son and his wife, Eden (Tammy Blanchard) leaving him. I love that it pokes at religion by having her go off and join a cult to mask the feeling that she is having. I don’t fault anyone that turns to things to help them cope, but what she has done isn’t healthy. We also learn though she is medicating herself which explains the subdued attitude. She comes off as completely emotionless, which makes it even more realistic. I love seeing Will slide into madness and it had me hooked, wondering if he is losing it or if his suspicions were real or not. I felt the ending was great, definitely a payoff that is worth all of the set up that we get.
What makes this film even better though is the acting in my opinion. Will is great, especially when we get flashbacks to when he was happy with Eden and seeing the duality of the character with what he is now. His descent into madness was very real and I loved it. Eden was solid at being the brainwashed woman and seeing her change at the climax was solid. Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi) is pushed to the back, but I think that was needed. She did what she had to for the story. The rest of the friends were solid in trying to include their friend, but also turning on him when they think his paranoia and grief are getting the better of him. I also really have to commend John Carroll Lynch; he is such an amazing actor.
There aren’t a lot in the way of effects in this film, but I think that the ones that were used were good. They looked to be practical and it made the film feel very real. The editing of the film was good. I liked the slow build-up that we get through the odd things happening at the party, having Will see flashbacks from his past to help build the suspense and him isolating himself from the rest. The score didn’t really stand out to me, but it also doesn’t hurt the film either.
I felt the soundtrack for the film was also really good for what they needed. During the climax and the reveal, I could feel it getting my heart rate up, which was good. It definitely fit and helped the film build the necessary tension.
Now with that said, I really enjoyed this film. This film has an intricate story of a grieving man who lost his son and his wife. When she comes back, being changed by a cult that she joined it creates a visceral tale of a man who could be descending into madness or thinking that his ex and her new husband are up to something. The acting is great in this film. The effects were practical and looked good. The editing of the film includes a few different things to build to this story and it was well done. The score doesn’t really hurt or help the film, so I won’t hold that against it. I definitely feel that this is a good film and needs to be viewed. I do have to warn you though, it is a slow-burn, so if that is something you don’t like, this film might not be for you. It definitely is worth it in my opinion at the climax though.
My Rating: 9 out of 10