On The Big Screen Reviews

The Invitation – Review

Dinner parties are always uncomfortable. You’ll sit next to someone you barely know, forced to make awkward conversation (that’ll no doubt dissolve into political argument,) and trying to prove that you can eat your dinner without looking like a pig.

The whole affair is awkward, causing deep dread down to the pit of your stomach.

Now imagine that you are invited as a guest to a dinner party with your ex. Drama? Am I right?

Well, what would happen if your ex has just gotten back from a seemingly suspicious cult and talks about death all the time?

That’s the premise for Karyn Kusama’s beautifully tense The Invitation. Starring Upgrade’s Logan Marshall-Green and Tammy Blanchard, the film revolves around Will who is invited to a dinner party by his ex-wife Eden. Even though the pair are in different and happier relationships, there is still fall out and trauma over their child’s death. Though everyone is perfectly pleasant over the course of the evening, Will starts to suspect that Eden has ulterior motives. But are his suspicions correct?

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The Invitation is as enticing as a glass of red wine and juicer than a steak. Kusama directs this thriller with the utmost tense atmosphere.  Her handling over this winding script from Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi is phenomenal. The film practically pulsates with history and character emotions. It’s unsettling nature, from the minute Will walks through the door, is unparalleled.

The film relies on the performances of Marshall-Green and Blanchard in a brilliant dynamic dance. Though there are other-players who spiral in and out of their scripted tango, causing much friction, the pair have to deliver their steps impeccably to the beat. Marshall-Green has to be likeable but believably distrusting of Eden, curving through his own mistrust and past regrets. His affiable nature is also pretty frustrating as you watch him stumble over the even, constantly looking for something wrong. It’s easy, therefore, to bounce between believing him or not, Marshall-Green does this superbly – a hero and unreliable narrator all at once.

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All the while Blanchard has to be just a bit off-centre and outside the curve that you buy into Will’s increasing suspicions about her. She is great as this beautiful yet somewhat disturbing character who you aren’t quite sure  As they pull between the present and the past, rhythmic with their own

The Invitation
is a film about patience and paranoia, an unravelling evening that’ll make your toes curl. A classic movie about pace and revelations thanks to an astute and clear direction. A wonderful thriller.


The Invitation is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now! 

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