‘The Invitation’ Is The Scariest Dinner Party You’ve Ever Seen: Movie Review

by Jenni Miller
Logan Marshall Green and Tammy Blanchard, Photo Courtesy of Drafthouse Films
The Invitation
Directed by Karyn Kusama
Out April 8
Rating 3/5

The Invitation opens with Will (Logan Marshall-Green) dragging his eternally patient girlfriend Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi) to a dinner party being thrown by his ex-wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard) and her husband David (Michiel Huisman) to celebrate their return from a stint in Mexico. Everyone who’s invited seems to have been figures from Will and Eden’s married life, except for two creepy new friends, Sadie (Lindsay Burdge) and Pruitt (John Carroll Lynch). Things are off kilter right away; even the creamy stationary the invitation arrives on radiates “Bad idea! Bad idea!” Things really start going downhill, however, when the hosts break out video from their trip abroad, and by the time dinner is served, Will’s panic is acute.

Director Karyn Kusama makes the most of the angular, impossibly expensive house in the Hollywood Hills where almost all of the claustrophobic action takes place. The formal dinner party as crucible, where the guests are frogs who don’t notice the water bubbling around them, is nothing new, nor are the undercurrents of paranoia and grief that sustain The Invitation’s momentum. Will feels the water boiling, and we see him feel it, but whether we believe his fears are justified or not is sort of beyond the point; by then, we’ve all accepted Eden and David’s invitation.

By Jenni Miller

This article originally appeared in the April/May 2016 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today

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