The Invitation – Movie Review
Director: Jessica M Thompson
Writer: Blair Butler, Jessica M Thompson (Screenplay)
- Nathalie Emmanuel (Fast 9)
- Thomas Doherty
- Alana Boden (Uncharted)
- Stephanie Corneliussen (Mr Robot)
- Hugh Skinner (Les Misérables)
Plot: A young woman is courted and swept off her feet, only to realize a gothic conspiracy is afoot.
Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Invitation starts when New York resident Evie (Emmanuel) learns she has lost relatives in England. A new family member, a second Cousin Oliver (Skinner) insists she joins him in England for a family wedding.
Evie finds herself thrown into a high-class society as a guest of Walter (Doherty) for the upcoming family wedding. It doesn’t take long before Evie sees not everything is right and learns the truth about the family’s past.
Verdict on The Invitation
Evie is a young woman struggling to make ends meet in New York, she has just lost her mother and her artistic dreams seem far away. She takes a DNA test only to learn she has long-lost relatives in England and gets tempted into joining them for a wedding. Evie shows compassion for the staff because she is used to being like them, as she adapts to being one of the ladies of the manor. It doesn’t take long before she starts falling for handsome host Walter, unaware of what she is getting herself into.
Walter is the host of the party; it is his manor they are visiting, and he sees something different in Evie. He welcomes her to the home and shows her the life she could be living. Walter comes off like prince charming, listening to Evie, unlike most men she has met before.
Viktoria and Lucy are the two bridesmaids for the wedding, they both show different levels of friendliness toward Evie. Grace is Evie’s best friend and doesn’t join on the trip, but is always a phone call or text away to make sure she is safe.
Nathalie Emmanuel is great in the leading role, we see a lost side to her character in New York, mixed with the depression of losing her mother and her dreams with her. Once she is out in England, we see a stronger side to her character, one that doesn’t back down easily.
Thomas Doherty brings the dreamy handsome host to life, he relies on his looks to win hearts and his smooth delivery helps along the way. Courtney Taylor is excellent for a laugh, giving serious vibes like Lil Rel Howery in ‘Get Out’. As the best friend who doesn’t trust strangers. The rest of the supporting performances are good, getting the big moments when needed.
The story follows a young woman who finds out she is related to a high-class English family. She reluctantly agrees to attend a wedding to meet the family only to find herself in the middle of something much bigger and more dangerous.
This story does feel like the beginning of a fairy tale romance, with a young woman rushed off her feet and thrown into a world she never imagined. It soon gets filled with mystery and suspense, as we see what is happening in the shadows and what is waiting for.
This is a clever twist on what we get to see, having a similar feeling to ‘Get Out’ by meeting a rich family and ‘Ready or Not’ thrown into a massive party environment, welcoming someone new to the family. It is played out in a more serious tone but is an engaging story to follow.
The Invitation is a horror thriller that jumps at the chance to use the gothic environment and atmosphere. The manor house used is beautiful and would have secrets within its history. When it comes to a sequence in the final act, we do get the biggest weakness, with the overuse of cutting for different angles, which is very jarring. One of the subplots within the movie, made me think of ‘Ready or Not’ and that was with the help disappearing, it was done in a more comic tone than it could have been.
Final Thoughts – The Invitation is a nice gothic horror that feels like Get Out met Ready or Not.