Review: Jennifer’s Body helmer, Karyn Kusama made a surprisingly effective mystery-thriller with The Invitation. It burns slowly with groove when old friends are reunited in a fancy house of Eden (Tammy Blanchard) and David (Michiel Huisman). One of the guests is a very withdrawn Will (Logan Marshall-Green), who seemingly has something in his head (or his past) prior to this reunion.
The script treats audiences like a grown-up. Without trying to patronize us with background information, we are brought into the middle of the dinner where friendly, nostalgic conversation gradually reveals connection between people and some stories from the past. Yet, we are specifically put into Will’s uncomfortable perspective as if something odd is happening or, possibly, he’s only tantrum (yes, grown-up tantrum). Little by little, truths from the past are exposed only to be brought into a surprising final act, which really pays off.
The Invitation never looks exuberant and explosive. It keeps us to tune in until the final minute with cold hands to reveal its true strength; but the build-up is what makes it thrilling and entertaining at once. Focusing in details and ending it with style, that’s what it tries to convey.
The Invitation (2016)