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Rated 2.96 stars
by 385 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Who Wants To Leave This Party?
by Betty Jo Tucker

The Invitation dares your eyes

to watch some folks who are not wise.

They want a peace thatís hard to find --

something to bring a quiet mind.


This film mixes a somber mood

with dinner guests, drinks and good food.

One man believes nothing seems right.

Will his deep fears come true this night?


Painful it is to suffer grief.

And, for some, there is no relief.

Especially loss of a child Ė

with guilt involved that drives you wild.


Slow at the start, the movie grows

and builds suspense that overflows.

Surprises at the end come fast.

The last scene, folks, left me aghast!

Will and Kira (Logan Marshall-Green and Emayatzy Corinealdi) seem a bit uneasy about accepting a dinner invitation from Willís ex-wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard) and her new husband David (Michiel Huisman). We learn this while listening to their conversation in the drive to the party location, which just happens to be at Willís former home. They get even more apprehensive after running into a small animal during their journey. Could this be a bad omen?

Although Eden and Dave -- plus their other guests -- greet Will and Kira in a very friendly manner, Will remains tense and guarded. These early scenes set the edgy tone for the rest of the movie -- and we canít help worrying right along with Will. We wonder what the heck is happening, and that keeps us interested in spite of the filmís slow pace.

Much of the credit goes to Marshall-Green (Madame Bovary), who delivers a terrific soulful performance. Because this actor projects such a profound sadness, we empathize with Will right away. Other standouts in the cast include: Blanchard (Rabbit Hole) as a mother trying too hard to forget her sonís death; Huisman (The Age of Adeline) as a man who believes he has all the answers; and the always wonderful John Carroll Lynch (Things We Lost in the Fire) in the role of a suspicious bereaved husband. The rest of the cast members provide excellent support.

Working from an intriguing screenplay by Aeon Fluxís Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, director Karyn Kusama (Aeon Flux too!) and her crew have created a little gem of a thriller. Yes, a bit of patience is required. But please stay until the excitement begins. Believe me, you wonít want to take your eyes off the screen for one second until the end credits roll.        

(Released by Drafthouse Films; not rated by MPAA.)

For more information about The Invitation, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.

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