A grieving father goes to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife and her husband, but things take a dark turn when old wounds are opened.
The Invitation (2015)
Directed by Karyn Kusama
Written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi
Starring Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Michael Huisman, John Carroll Lynch, Jordi Vilasuso, Mike Doyle, Michelle Krusiec, Jay Larson, Lindsay Burdge
The Invitation is a truly smart horror film, and it masterfully harnesses the power of the slow burn. You can feel something is off from the get-go. Somebody is hiding something, and something bad is going to happen. But you don't know when, and when it finally happens, you're lulled into a sense of relief, and it hits you like a ton of bricks. The script is brilliant. Every character matters, and you understand why everybody is in this situation. I've never seen a movie use grief as a weapon before, but The Invitation does it really well.
Logan Marshall-Green plays Will, a depressed, anxious man grieving the loss of his son. Marshall-Green steals the show with his powerful performance of a man teetering on the edge of sanity, ready to snap at any given moment and at the slightest provocation. He and his girlfriend Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi) go to a dinner party hosted by Will's ex-wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard) and her new husband David (Michael Huisman). Along for the ride are their friends, all of whom haven't seen each other in years. As the night progresses, Eden and David's agenda is revealed, and Will senses that they might be in danger. I won't spoil it, but it's built up perfectly and executed flawlessly.
The Invitation will surprise you by how complete it is. It's unforgettable ending leaves room for interpretation, and you're left with just enough information to feel satisfied, but not drowned in exposition. The most terrifying thing about the movie is how real it feels. Grief is a nasty demon that can possess anybody, and it can drive you to unthinkable things you never believed yourself capable of. This film captures the darkest side of grief, and exploits it one of the most overlooked horror flicks of the decade.