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  • Writer's pictureStrictly Films

The Invitation; Grade: F

The Invitation tells a story about a woman named Evie (Nathalie Emmanuel) who does catering, but wants a career in art as she’s really good at making pottery. Evie is going through a rough time, as she lost her mother due to cancer, so Evie doesn’t really have any family. Fortunately for Evie: Her DNA matched with Oliver (Hugh Skinner), whom happens to be her 2nd cousin, as now she has family. Oliver invites Evie to a wedding over in London, England, where she’ll be able to meet her whole new entire family members she never thought she had. Will Evie fit right in with the pact or be an outsider?!

It’s the last Friday of summer movie season, as there is typically a horror/thriller film to wrap it all up for some reason. I feel the reason maybe to lure in teenage crowds, as before going back to school, they get their last venturous night out with their friends or secure a last minute summer romance. More than often these films fall into the mediocre or bad pile, as they become forgotten… As I feel The Invitation will soon fall into that category as well, maybe much more quickly forgotten than expected.

I really had no expectations with The Invitation, the poster designs looked fine while the random clips that popped up on YouTube, looked like a standard mainstream horror film you’ve seen thousands of times before. As sure enough: The Invitation does a deliver a nightmare experience, but it’s not a nightmare in which can be taken as a compliment for a horror film, but as a nightmare meaning this film is dreadfully awful.

The story as a whole was extremely boring, it felt align with the likes of Winchester but much worse. It felt like I was sitting there, waiting for something interesting or entertaining to happen, but literally nothing much happens as it felt like an appropriate time to take a nap. Someone complimented this film as Get Out meets Ready or Not, while I do see the clear comparison, however this film doesn’t come close to matching any sort of level those films were on, at least those two are entertaining in some way.

I felt extremely underwhelmed with the development of the characters, as after the film cuts to black… I can barely remember anyone’s name, as the film made it feel like it doesn’t matter nor should you even care. Even with Evie per say: The film doesn’t make the audience feel a connection, of the idea that going on without a family is a very sad lonely feeling. It seemed like Evie was more than comfortable with her best friend, so why does she have to suddenly feel obligated to go to a complete strangers wedding?! I can see if she’s completely alone and is in a very vulnerable state, but she’s not at all, seems rather weird to just take up on a complete strangers offer to go to a strangers wedding, just because they’re claimed “family”. Those Family Tree websites make mistakes all the time, but regardless if someone is claimed to be family as you just literally met the person… You don’t just hop on a plane to go to a family wedding with that complete stranger, you have to get to know them first and build trust, as even family can back stab you at any moment.

Another element of the story I really despise, is how extremely predictable it is. If you watched the trailer there is literally no reason to go watch this film, as the trailer gives away the entire story from start to finish. But even without the trailer: It seemed clear as day as what is bound to happen, as the tropes are so front in center clear you know exactly where things are headed. Even the film tries to give CLEAR hints on what is bound to happen, especially when Evie and Walter (Thomas Doherty) develop their sudden strange relationship that they could be cousins. Like Walter gives a clear hint to the audience as they’re in the bedroom, as it felt like Walter was nodding to the audience “Yeah, watch what happens next!”… There is no sense of surprise, as the film just gives it away.

Once the twist is revealed, as the film can now feel free to execute horror… It suddenly becomes an extremely lame film to watch. I mean sure the random horror occurrences whether it be Evie’s dream sequences or how the maids are randomly executed wasn’t scary either, however how it suddenly transitions into this completely goofy genre of horror… It just became so unbearable to sit through. Not to mention the ridiculous finale and the unnecessary extended scene… Those were painful.

As we’ve come to learn about the random execution of the maids, I come to ask a valid question at hand. How come the maids weren’t confused nor concern that some maids have suddenly disappeared?! A wedding is a big event that requires a fair amount of staff to properly execute it, so every member of the staff is NEEDED for the whole duration for however long the event lasts, so how come no one seemed to care that suddenly maids are gone left and right?! If I was a maid: I would either question what is going on or run far away because something isn’t right.

Some of the camera work within some sequences looked pretty bad. Especially in the fast paced like combat sequences, more so the slow mo effect in the grand finale… How in the world did this get put out in theaters?! We can’t have Funny Pages in theaters, but we can have this atrocity?! Unacceptable Condition! I don’t want to talk about this film anymore, it’s leaving me an extreme state of boredom yet again.

Overall, The Invitation was garbage. I don’t recommend this film, I hope teenagers on their last hooray date capitalize on this opportunity to make out throughout the film, as this is the only purpose this film was made for. -Mitch Smietana

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