We’ve seen a few good trailers for horror/thriller films been released this year (here, here, here and here) and that is the issue with the genre in general – the trailers looks pretty frightening and epic, but the films end up being far less scary than you hoped. And with the number of trailers we have seen, its inevitable that one or two of them will turn out to actually be turds. The Invitation is one that I’m unsure about, but from the short trailer below, it certainly looks interesting.
What looks like a fairly placid start, quickly builds up tension through a nerve-wrecking background score. And while the trailer actually doesn’t reveal much, it at least builds up the right tension. The premise of the film is as follows:
The tension is palpable when Will (Logan Marshall-Green, Prometheus) shows up to his ex-wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard, Into the Woods) and new husband, David’s (Michiel Huisman, “Game of Thrones”) dinner party. The pair’s tragic past haunts an equally spooky present: Amid Eden’s suspicious behavior and her mysterious house guests, Will becomes convinced that his invitation was extended with a hidden agenda. Unfolding over one dark evening in the Hollywood Hills, The Invitation blurs layers of mounting paranoia, mystery, and horror until both Will-and the audience-are unsure what threats are real or imagined.
What I like about this premise is that it doesn’t appear like there is anything sinister, dark or even super-natural about the movie, but simply people’s own paranoia that is messing with them and which is being used as the main device for the film’s terror. If they get it right, it will certainly be something worth seeing. If they don’t, it could turn out to be rather dull.
The film was written Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (Ride Along, Clash of the Titans) and directed by Karyn Kusama. (Jennifer’s Body). I’m not a fan of Kusama’s last film, but the early reviews in pre-screening have been pretty good for this one and lets hope she gets the formula right. Slashfilm goes onto say:
I haven’t been able to shake it. Not just because it’s a rather unnerving experience, but because of how expertly structured, acted, and shot it is. This is a movie that fires on all cylinders. Imagine The Parallax View, The Conversation, or Rosemary’s Baby set during a dinner party in the Hollywood Hills, and you’ll get a pretty clear idea of what The Invitation is. Kusama’s film is more of a psychological horror movie than a bloody one. Whether things get bloody, I won’t say, but what the protagonist (Logan Marshall-Green) experiences is both dramatic and chilling.
So, that sounds like the kind of disturbing, unsettling horror that I prefer to the standard gore-fest jump scares of today. Its all about tension people and how you build it.
Drafthouse Films will release The Invitation in theaters on March 25 in the U.S. and will interestingly also be releasing it simultaneous to Video-On Demand services, so expect to likely see it on Netflix or Showmax in SA rather than in theaters.
Last Updated: January 22, 2016