Critic’s Rating : / 5
The Invitation Movie Review : A good horror build-up goes haywire in the climax
The Invitation Review: Just as the world of editing films has largely been taken over by women, it seems a similar transformation is happening in the world of horror films too. After Jennifer Kent, Nia DaCosta, and Julia Ducournau, it’s time to add another name, Jessica M. Thompson. In the first half of the film, Jessica makes a sincere effort and builds up a story that’s full of tension and intrigue, but it’s in the second half of the film that her efforts are sort of diluted by a not-so-convincing ending. The Invitation begins well, and Jessica Thompson is able to create an atmosphere that carries a sinister tone. The horror mood that she recreates is the sort of mood that we witnessed in the films of the 70s and 80s. But the predictable plot points take away the initial joy when the film enters its climax.
The narrative of the film is heavily inspired by classic Gothic horror films and is about Evelyn, who follows a mundane routine after the death of her mother. After she goes through a DNA test courtesy of a DNA gift kit that was given to her, she manages to get in touch with Oliver, her cousin from London. Oliver then helps her reunite with her family, which a few days ago never existed for her. At the estate, when she falls for Walter, the suave and charming aristocrat, she is sucked into a sinister and horrifying world, and now she will do it all to get out of the situation.
Nathalie Emmanuel, as Evelyn, delivers a natural performance and is always at ease while portraying the character. Her sequences with Thomas Doherty (Walter) look very genuine and natural. While it’s all smooth in terms of the plot for the first hour, it slowly deviates towards a predictable path with references to the Dracula story. Though this is a horror film, it does not offer too many jump scares. The director completely nails creating a tense atmosphere, which is bound to create some chills at the beginning of the film.
But while the climax might be less ‘satisfying’ to a section, Jessica Thompson does well in giving a solid base to her plot by laying a smooth ground for her Gothic horror story. The ominous signs Evelyn comes across when she is in London are scary and lay a solid foundation for what is to come next. The Invitation begins with a great premise and also succeeds in keeping you hooked for most of the part, but it’s only when the film enters its climax, the plot goes haywire and misses the plot. In her debut film – The Light of the Moon – she tackled an extremely tough and bold subject and come out victorious, but the same cannot be said about The Invitation.