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The Invitation (2015) ★★★½

The Invitation


There is nothing to be afraid of.

Will and his new girlfriend Kira are invited to a dinner with old friends at the house of Will’s ex Eden and her new partner David. Although the evening appears to be relaxed, Will soon gets a creeping suspicion that their charming host David is up to something.


The Invitation is what I call a Watchlist Lingerer. One of those movies that seems interesting enough not to remove it. But, at the same time, you have low expectations. So it lingers on the list. Thankfully, however, I will attest it was an intensely socially claustrophobic slow burn that was layered thick with impending danger and doom. And it definitely pays off in the end.

The idea of this dinner party may be the most difficult concept to suspend disbelief. How many men would return to an ex’s house, once shared, to hang out for an evening with the new boyfriend? Which is also the same house where a young son had died suddenly? I’d be at ‘hell, no!’ at the word dinner party, let alone all the baggage I’d have to face once I arrived. But a once close-knit group of old friends have been invited which increases the viability of the decision. I guess.

The Invitation succeeds because you care about the lead. Also the characters at the dinner party seem real and likeable. There is a crawling sense of something askew from the very beginning. The atmosphere is dark and foreboding and really keeps you on the edge. It’s a nicely paced nailbiter with a profound twist in the end which was hard for me to buy into, but did add an even deeper level of dread to the whole movie.

Rating: ★★★½ (out of 5)

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