The Invitation is a 2015 mystery/thriller film…
I’ve spent a lot of time watching television shows and movies. They’re actually a bigger writing inspiration for me than books. Don’t get me wrong – I still enjoy reading. But in the time it takes me to read a book (I’m a slow reader) I can watch a heck of a lot more movies and episodes of Breaking Bad. It’s all the same idea – it starts with a plot line and characters and conflict and goes on from there.
I thought it might be fun to do a real-time movie review as I watch The Invitation for the first time. If this goes over well maybe I’ll do some more.
I should preface this review by mentioning that, in general, I do not like to know too much about a movie before I watch it. I prefer to be utterly surprised at every twist and turn if at all possible. The Invitation is a movie that popped up on my Netflix suggestions a while back when I was watching a lot of bad horror films. The only things I’ve read about this move is that it’s apparently a slow burn but has a big payoff. I mean supposedly it’s a really, really slow moving flick. But it’s only 100 minutes long so I wouldn’t expect it to have time to drag on too much. Let’s see what happens:
1:30 – Well, we just hit a coyote with our sedan. That was fast. Coyote not dead. Must put coyote out of his misery with a lead pipe, Colonel Mustard…in the Study. If this little moment doesn’t come full circle at some point it was an utter waste. Even if it’s just mirrored or something. It has to, right?
8:00 – All these people together in one place, still trying to pinpoint for certain who was married to whom. Apparently “dirty dishrag guy” Will was married to this hostess, Eden. She looks creepy. She just licked some coyote blood off of Will’s face with her finger. And check out the pants her new husband is wearing. Is he going to bust into some yoga or is he hosting a farting contest? (Just Googled him – a ha! I knew he looked familiar. It’s Michiel Huisman who plays Daario Naharis on Game of Thrones.)
9:30 – Now Will starts looking down a dark hall and notices a pantless woman.
10:00 – Now pantless woman joins the group. Her name is Sadie. And she’s now wearing pants, or rather a short dress. She’s staying with David (Daario) and Eden. But she just gave David a kiss on the neck. What is going on here? This Sadie is wacky weird. Eden is creepy. David must be the cult leader. It’s probably a sex cult. I understand this movie is supposed to be a slow mover but you’d have to be blind to not already see some nutty crap is going on here. In fact, if I was Will I’d grab Kira and head out. Slamming into that coyote must’ve been a bad omen. Get out now! Leave!
12:00 – Will’s getting a glass of water and having weird, horrifying flashbacks. Okay, I need to slow this down, write less. Or I’ll have a 50,000-word book by the time the movie is over. I’ll just say this: those flashbacks looked like Will stopping Eden from committing suicide. Man, this Eden is a creepy chick. Maybe she’s a vampire. Holy crap I think that’s it. Did I figure this movie out already? This is either about vampires or…pants.
18:20 – Oh, look! It’s Drew Carey’s “brother!” (John Carroll Lynch)
19:30 – Some dude name Choi is not showing up to the party and there’s no cell reception here at all. This doesn’t seem unusual…except I think it’s supposed to be a key factor here. Why are you leaving the key in the door? What if there’s a fire! OMG!
24:50 – Ta dah! “They’re in a cult!” (A Pants Cult)
26:35 – If he shows them a sex video, I’m all-in.
30:00 – Seriously, if you’re not leaving this get-together after watching that “Introduction to Our Cult” video, you deserve to die at the end of this movie.
Does anyone remember this guy?
36:40 – They’re drugging everyone with the 8 million dollar wine, aren’t they?
38:45 – Now we’re going to play a game. Hopefully it’s not called “Would You Rather…”
38:55 – Oh great. Ten seconds later we find out the game is similar to a game called “I Never…” but it’s called “I Want…” I’m starting to think I wrote this script and forgot about it.
40:45 – Weird and sometimes pantless Sadie loves everybody at the party and just stuck her tongue down Gina’s throat. I wonder if she would do that if Choi was there.
46:15 – “I want to kiss Ben,” Eden says. (Despite the fact that she slapped him half an hour ago for making fun of her.) I swear this movie is still going to turn hedonistic, eventually.
47:00 – Finally! Someone wants to leave! Apparently it was the term “blow job” that made her uncomfortable. David is trying to convince Claire to stay and Will stands up and insists David let her leave. See, Will is on to the shenanigans going on, but he’s too damn curious to split, himself. The tension is building. Something tricky is going on. Poor Claire. Pruitt probably just did her in like he did his wife year’s ago.
54:50 – So far this entire movie has been built around Will’s suspicions/paranoia and his horrific flashbacks/daydreams. That and the weird cult. “Weird cult.” Like all cults aren’t “weird”?
55:40 – What. The. Hell? The cuckoo clock is cuckoo-ing.
56:50 – What?!?!?!?!? (says Will and me.) See?! Hedonism!
1:00:00 – Yeah, baby! Now it’s starting! The cell service comes and goes. Will just got a voicemail from Choi. He’s not late – he was actually early. Choi showed up early! He said “I’m going in…see you in a few.” What did the cult do to him? Cha-cha-cha!!! Let the games begin!
1:02:30 – “There’s something very strange going on here and no one is saying anything.” Yes! You finally said it, Will! Good boy. I was asked recently what name I would go by if my first name was “William.” I am certain I would be a “Will.” Go, Will!
1:04:20 – Now Kira wants to go and Will doesn’t. Will wants to stay because…something dangerous is going on. The doorbell rings. Everyone stops in their tracks. It’s going to be Choi, isn’t it? It’s going to be Choi and now we’re going to start thinking Will is the one who’s cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.
1:05:20 – I win the prize. Choi kind of resembles Big Head Todd – from a distance anyway.
1:16:00 – Okay. This has to be the part of the film where people start to feel it creeping along. You’re just sitting here watching…waiting…something’s going to happen. Something’s got to give – soon.
1:17:20 – Annnnnnd now Will wants to go! No one drink the wine! Duh?
1:17:40 – Oh Sadie. Kerplunk. What? Now there’s cell service to call an ambulance?!
1:18:05 – Yep, Gina. I knew I saw someone drink the wine amidst the chaos. Whoopsie.
1:19:00 – What the ? So much for the sneakiness of cult brainwashing.
1:22:00 – There’s no way Kira makes it out of this, right?
1:25:10 – Will, umm. What are you doing?
1:28:25 – Great form, Kira! Maybe she’ll make it out of this, afterall. And maybe someone should grab a gun?
1:31:35 – I’m kind of chuckling at all of this right now. Is that okay? There’s something comical about all of this.
1:35:40 – Annnnnnd we hear coyotes howling at the end. Oh, I get it. Will put the coyote out of his misery at the beginning of the movie, and guess what the cult was really all about?
I don’t want to give the entire movie away in case you haven’t seen it, so I’ll refrain from saying much more about it. Hopefully I have preserved the sanctity of the slow burn even with my comments above. Maybe it’s best to read them as you watch the movie yourself for the first time.
I gave the movie 4 Stars on Netflix. If I could I’d probably go 3 1/2 Stars. The payoff just wasn’t as big as I wanted. There weren’t really any surprises in the movie, other than the lack of sex. I guess what I’m trying to say is it ended safely, without any big twists or extra thrills. After a slow moving film like that, you expect something bigger than what you end up getting, here. At least I did.
Have you seen The Invitation? Let me know what you thought of it.
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