The Invitation (2015)
May 2, 2016 2:39 PM - Subscribe

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.
posted by tel3path (14 comments total)
I just saw this and I watched half yesterday and half today and I was thinking it was a lot of mannered pretentious fuckery and now I got to the end and what was THAT

posted by tel3path at 2:40 PM on May 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

So I watched this movie this weekend and after all the buzz, I'm deeply disappointed. If you want to see something original, disturbing, and compelling about cults watch the path instead.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:08 PM on May 2, 2016

Also you should add mefi-horror club to the tags.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:09 PM on May 2, 2016

I did like the buildup a lot. The creepy inappropriateness of the cult's video was great. I thought for awhile they might be gaslighting Will for some reason; they kept doing suspicious things, conspicuously in his view. It was fun to watch and speculate and try to convince myself it might be something else going on. The way they paced the reveal was really well done, I thought.

The friends in general were maybe a little shallower than they should have been. The bro dude friend especially kinda stank up the place maybe a bit too much. Though I think the friends were supposed to seem like annoying horror-movie teens from Will's POV. Kira was strong and likable, but sort of blank. She seemed too good for him tbh. Get your shit together, Will! John Carroll Lynch was creepy as fuck, probably thanks to his practice in Zodiac: A Crappy Movie Actually.

Though when finally things start to go pear shaped, it turns out the pear is rather small. After the buildup, the fightin' part is pretty direct and didn't seem like a good fit for the long buildup.

I guess I mostly came out of this wishing it had been a little different. It made me think about the cult-goes-sideways short in V/H/S/2 with its weird and respectably sized pear.
posted by nom de poop at 1:54 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

I guess I went into it with no expectation that it would be surprising or suspenseful. It's not that anything that happened surprised me, it's that it happened at that particular moment and also that I cared about it when I wasn't expecting to.

I don't really get enough sense of these people as characters to think that the GF was out of the main guy's league or anything like that, because the whole thing is so immersed in the lead character's POV that all the others are sort of irritating placeholders for real people, the Generic Genteel if you will, and the only thing that makes sense to the lead character is his trauma so you don't get any clear picture of who he is beyond that. All that is okay with me.

It just doesn't strike me as primarily a suspense film, it seemed more like a film about grief and the inability to smooth it away into something socially acceptable and how pervasive that is in society now. The lead guy is the classic Identified Patient, he looks like he's completely messed up, when primarily he's in pain and, most importantly, dealing with it more directly than any of the others.

I get enough sense of the main character and the gf as a couple by seeing that they stick by each other to try to survive, which is really... all I need to know about them, I guess?

interesting also that, as far as we know, the blonde woman who leaves early hasn't been killed (at least if the Zodiac Killer had gotten her on her way out, we'd have found out because of Chekhov's gun).
posted by tel3path at 2:21 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah it's interesting in so talky a movie I had very little sense of other characters like the gf and even the ex-wife. Trying to envision those two together how they worked as a family etc. I just couldn't do it at all. That's probably why the movie left me so cold. I really didn't care.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:13 PM on May 3, 2016

I get enough sense of the main character and the gf as a couple by seeing that they stick by each other to try to survive, which is really... all I need to know about them, I guess?

Even accounting for Will's POV, Rita seemed unbelievably both ready to support Will whenever he wanted, while not having any emotional needs or anything herself. I didn't mean to imply "out of his league" in a shallow sense. Anyway it didn't feel right to me dramatically. Things like grief stress relationships, so I'd expect there to be more tension between him and who he was with. Or he was lucky and had a really good strong relationship when his input into it seemed close to zero.

In any case I would have liked to seen it developed a little more instead of it seeming a bit like Will was going to the party alone but also needed someone else to save.
posted by nom de poop at 10:41 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

We thought this was pretty good, though personally can do without constant agonizing over dead childs as the sole feature of a character or characters.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:30 PM on May 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

Saw this tonight and I really didn't buy it. The characters were supposed to be old friends, but I never once got the sense that they were. And, given that they felt like a bunch of random yet weirdly huggy strangers, it didn't feel right that they wouldn't have simply left when things started getting bizarre. Moreover if an "old friend" slapped me in the face and told me nobody cares what I think, I'd be out the door like a shot regardless of how far we went back or what she may have been through.

I did like the pacing and the final shot of all those red lanterns.
posted by orange swan at 10:37 PM on July 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

This movie reminds me of 10 Cloverfield Lane: both are about larger events, but told on an intimate scale. I really like how it works! For me, it's the ending shot of all the red lanterns that does it. Until that moment, I was on the fence about the film.

It definitely does help to go into the movie with no expectations.
posted by meese at 11:09 PM on July 24, 2017

It's funny, because I really liked this movie! I liked the insane buildup, because as an audience member I was constantly second-guessing what was actually happening -- was it weird or was it him being paranoid?! -- and it had SO MUCH to say about being polite and letting the weirdness just happen and not saying anything... but the protagonist is ballsy enough to SAY SOMETHING. It's awesome.
posted by knownassociate at 6:54 PM on June 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

I liked this. It gave me that same feeling of uncomfortableness that Mother! did. This veneer of politeness over a lot of weirdness. People trying to conform weirdness into the unspoken social rules. And the only one that makes it away unharmed is the one who breaks the rules and says out loud that she is uncomfortable. Because ideally, you never say that because social rules are intended to also keep people from making people uncomfortable. By her saying that she was uncomfortable, she broke the social rule and then everyone became uncomfortable. Will tries a bunch but never sticks to it and so he’s around in the end to get shot.

I guess the girlfriend was also not hurt, so she didn’t do much but didn’t pay for it either?
posted by LizBoBiz at 11:21 AM on July 3, 2021

I cannot say the script was really what it ought to be. What starts off as a potentially delicious slow burn is still dragging its feet, 80, 90 minutes in.

But Kusama's direction within each scene is so tight, it just about sells it anyway.

And that ending! Holy shit.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:52 PM on December 27, 2021

interesting also that, as far as we know, the blonde woman who leaves early hasn't been killed

I actually assumed that once the guy goes out to 'move the car', it was all over for her -- and the director has confirmed her fate

posted by knownassociate at 12:02 PM on January 19, 2022

« Older Dance Academy: Minefield...   |  Supernatural: The Chitters... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments