The Invitation (2015)


Pros
  • Logan Marshall-Green (aka Tom Hardy) proves he's a capable actor
  • A perfect atmosphere of awkwardness and paranoia
  • Plenty of moments that reinforce the idea that something sinister may or may not be at play
  • A simplistic original score (no more than 3-4 pieces but they are used effectively)
  • The third act is well worth the wait (no disappointments here)
  • The final image

Cons
  • A few times where the pacing slows down
  • Some character's backgrounds are kept in the dark
  • The climax may come a bit too late for some people

Score: 8/10

The Invitation will certainly go down as a hidden gem in the thriller/horror genre in the coming months. It was recently released on VOD with damn near no publicity so hopefully word-of-mouth will save this movie. So far it is a critical hit (over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes) and was a fan favorite at the numerous film festivals it premiered at months ago.

LMG plays a damaged man who has been through a lot in his life and is still grieving for his past mistakes. He and a few others get invited to a mysterious dinner party where things go from normal to strange very, very quickly. But the interesting thing is only one character (LMG) seems to see the strangeness while everyone else is laughing it up and enjoying the night. It's interesting because he isn't afraid to speak his mind about how he feels the night is going and what he finds 'strange'. But the sad part is, he's seen as a damaged soul so his outbursts are immediately dismissed. It's the subtle clues he notices (something as basic as a drinking game or a bottle of expensive wine) that make The Invitation suspenseful. Tiny clues that leave you guessing that something larger is at play, which may or may not be the case. 

To say anything more would be potentially spoiling the movie, and with most movies, it's the ending that makes or breaks a movie and this one is no different. The ending is well worth the wait, so if you are a fan of suspenseful movies, this is one of the years must see thrillers.