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The Invitation (2015)

You know the drill - there's ALWAYS spoilers. Don't want the movie ruined for you? Come back after you've seen it.

And - I'm still without an editor - typos and bad grammar await you! Enjoy!

The Invitation is about an LA dinner party gone terribly wrong. Six couples pile into an extravagant house tucked away in the LA hills – as the night progresses suspicion, fake smiles, and traumatic memories turn their conversation from friendly to incredibly tense. Through flashbacks and terse snippets of character interaction we discover the ties binding each character to the others; one couple (Will and Eden) lost a child and some of the group have joined a self-help group that sounds like a cult. Hidden sexual desires are exposed and everyone is made to feel uncomfortable. In the end, folks become murderous and we realize that no amount of red velvet cake can make up for the loss of a child or combat years of brainwashing. 

The Invitation falls within the sub-genre of... killer parties? (Parties from hell? Parties you're happy to have missed?) alongside some other films like:

The Perfect Host wherein an escaped convict is taken into a man's home and while you initially believe the convict will kill his host, the host turns out to be a serial killer.

Clue, which brings together a misfit bunch of blackmailees who turn to murder to end the blackmail. 

House on Haunted Hill (1959) - and (I suppose) the remake as well - sees seemingly random folks invited to a mysterious party that ends in back-stabbing, double-crossing, and murder. 

The Last Supper (1995) brings to the table liberals and conservatives - with the former poisoning the latter by the end of the meal. 

Although definitely able to build some tension and cast some confusion, The Invitation wasn't able to actually create enough genuine doubt as to how the movie would end and who would be leading the killing. Maybe I've seen too many movies or maybe I'm just prone to believing that any "self-help group" is really a murderous cult - but there was never a moment during this movie that I thought: "Maybe Will is just having a psychotic break and imagining some sort of conspiracy here."

The obvious lesson here? Don't drink the Koolaid (or wine, in this case) at a dinner party hosted by creepy cult members.

Overall, not a terrible movie BUT definitely not one I need to watch a second time. While I'm certainly no fan of Jennifer's Body, I'm actually surprised that director Karyn Kusam is also behind The Invitation - it feels like a step backwards for her.

Sorry folks, not much more to offer on this one tonight.

Watch the trailer for The Invitation here:

And you can grab a copy of The Invitation for yourself here:

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