The Invitation (2015)
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Good film. Lots of suspense, interesting mystery, jarring payoff. Just plain creepy and tense in every sense.
The Invitation is a slow-burning thriller built around a dinner party, where one guest starts to believe the hosts have a dangerous ulterior motive. The first act keeps you guessing (is this a horror film? just a thriller? a straight drama?), and even once you sort of know what's going on, the protagonist's paranoia still makes you question it. This is where I think the movie lives. If you've ever felt apprehensive at a social event (not to say anxious), then it will seem familiar. Believing every small innocuous thing is somehow humiliating or sinister. If you don't connect with that, then you'll have trouble liking the film, as I don't think the characters, despite the diverse cast, are very sympathetic. I don't mind films where the characters essentially talk philosophy all night (Before Sunrise, Coherence, The Man from Earth), but I'm not sure that was the best element in the film. In any case, the third act fails to have the courage to stay with what WAS most interesting and devolves into more standard fare, give or take an ambiguous final twist I sort of didn't really clue into immediately.
If you go into this expecting a heart-pounding suspenseful thrill ride, you won't get it. It's more of a mystery and guessing game, until the final 20 minutes or so. It takes it's time, but the pay off is worth it. Great movie, but nothing extraordinary.
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