The Invitation (2016)


Critic Consensus: The Invitation makes brilliant use of its tension-rich premise to deliver a uniquely effective -- and surprisingly clever -- slow-building thriller.


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In this taut psychological thriller by Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, Jennifer's Body), the tension is palpable when Will (Logan Marshall-Green, Prometheus) shows up to his ex-wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard, Into the Woods) and new husband, David's (Michiel Huisman, "Game of Thrones") dinner party. The pair's tragic past haunts an equally spooky present: Amid Eden's suspicious behavior and her mysterious house guests, Will becomes convinced that his invitation was extended with a hidden agenda. Unfolding over one dark evening in the Hollywood Hills, The Invitation blurs layers of mounting paranoia, mystery, and horror until both Will-and the audience-are unsure what threats are real or imagined.

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Critic Reviews for The Invitation

All Critics (95) | Top Critics (23)

If you were at a creepy dinner party, and the hosts decided to show a video of their vacation in which they spent time with a crazy cult leader in Mexico, would you stick around for the main course?

May 19, 2016 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Psychological thrillers just don't get any better than this.

Apr 21, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Beautifully paced, the movie traces a steady arc from amiability to apocalypse.

Apr 21, 2016 | Full Review…

John Carroll Lynch shares credit with a superb ensemble, but it's his halcyon turn as a pitiable demon that unifies the action.

Apr 21, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

All this foreboding produces no suspense: It's evident from the bloody prologue where "The Invitation" is headed.

Apr 21, 2016 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Will is the proxy through which we experience the increasingly confounding web of suspicion and surprises that are obfuscated by social niceties and facades of politesse.

Apr 15, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Invitation

Interesting idea. Drags out a little long, but decent Netflix watch.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

The tension built up over the 90% of movie to meet its climax is simply tedious. I wish I was uninvited to the movie night ð???

Film Crazy
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

Kusama's direction is excellent, especially in the way she explores the mise-en-scène and the geography of the house where the narrative takes place, and she knows very well how to create an uncomfortable feeling of unrest as we follow it from the point of view of its main character.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Writers Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi really take their time in establishing the characters. Hosts Eden and David are so cordial. Are they overtly so or is that just in our heads? Will senses something is amiss. He grows ever more anxious. There is a fair amount of build up. So much so that after awhile you may be checking your watch as to where all this is headed. Rest assured, the gradual unfolding of the narrative serves to make the denouement even more effective. Karyn Kusama is an American director who first made a critical splash with the independent Girlfight in 2000. Then went Hollywood with bigger budgets and did Æon Flux (2005) and Jennifer's Body (2009). The Invitation would suggest that she's at her best with smaller scale pictures free from studio interference. I haven't gone into the point of The Invitation. That's something the viewer needs to decide after watching. All I can say is, it most definitively made me feel something and I liked the experience.

Mark Hobin
Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer

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