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See it if only for the astronaut in Hell.
This was bad. My Wes Craven marathon isn't starting out so strong; he did some real stinkers early in his career. Don't waste your time. It's got Punky Brewster at maybe four years old and Susan Lucci playing the devil (of sorts) in this Stepford Wives styled made-for-tv flick. Boy, it was stupid.
TV MOVIE. Wes Craven was destined for fame judging by this campy fun horror. A country club is a disguise for the gates to hell. Gotta love it!
I wish I had a armored space suit to invade hell with.
As far as horror films go, "Invitation to Hell" is pretty laughable. It seems like the Wes Craven was trying to create something in the likeness of an episode of the "Twilight Zone" but the story is very poorly told to the point of hilarity. Many plot elements have no payoff or are introduced very badly, leaving the audience scratching their heads. Early in the film we learn that our protagonist is working on a space-suit that can withstand extreme temperature and is meant for space travel. It also has the ability to recognize life-forms and inform the person wearing the suit if it human or not human (using SCIENCE!). When it becomes apparent that something is wrong at the corporation, you think to yourself that this suit must have some nefarious purpose, because why else would it have such specific abilities? It must have been made to allow humans to travel to hell! Actually no, it's just a coincidence that we have a suit that can detect non-humans and is able to travel to extreme temperatures. When we have a need to figure out who is a real person and who is an imposter and have to travel to the bowels of hell, just go ahead and borrow that plot convenience it's easy! The poorly written story goes further, with the head villain being given vaguely established powers that are used only when it's most dramatically convenient. The special effects are good for what they are (it's a made for TV movie from 1984) and if you are looking for something to make fun of, you'll have a good time. Otherwise, stay away! (On VHS, April 20, 2012)
This really could have been a good movie, but unfortunately it's really bad. The story is lame, and the special effects are bad. This just isn't a good movie.
A good story, but I think it goes about it the wrong way. First of all, the guy works for a computer/technology company, which makes you think there will be some kind of problem in the story dealing with the technology, but there isn't. Also, I thought the ending was ridiculous. This movie could have been good, especially if it wasn't a made-for-TV movie, and could have some blood and gore and cool special effects. The actors are good, though, which is why I didn't rate too low, but as for Craven, I expected more from him (like a movie that will scare more than just some yuppies.).
For a made for TV movie, Invitation to Hell is not so bad--it's bizarre and creepy in parts, but ultimately it is merely laughable. Overall, the cheesiness outweighs the genuine horror elements. Thankfully, this dowturn in Craven's career after such masterpieces as Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes gave way to better films like Nightmare on Elm Street and The Serpent and the Rainbow. Sadly, it also presages the large number of awful films he would also go on to make, particularly over the past decade.
Cheesy, made for tv, uninspired... these might be some words used to describe this film, but horror fans and Craven fans will enjoy a satanic approach to the Body Snatchers/secret society theme that is used so often. The space suit that shoots lazers out the sleeves should have been used more to fight, and there should have been more demons and hell footage, but the lead up to the climax was good enough for an enjoyable movie.
Well made flick, but I find it boring.