The Invitation (2015) Poster

(I) (2015)

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An Intoxicating Thriller. Incredible.
afrodome15 August 2017
Sometimes I cannot understand the dissonance between me and a great number of movie reviewers on this page. I had not seen any trailers of the sort because I didn't want to preview parts that may spoil he movie. With that said, I'm so glad I watched this film. This ranks with Green Room as a real edge-of-your-seat kind of movie but for entirely different reasons. While Green Room is just a unhinged speed chase offroad in complete darkness, leaving you dizzy with blurting holy sh't every 10 seconds, The Invitation takes it's time while not letting the story flatline. The use of ominous shots and reverberating violins really give you that sense of unease.

The buildup, the paranoia, the character-structuring, the heavy atmosphere all build up to a short and worthy second half of the film.

Honestly, it's frustrating to see so many people give this movie a criminally low rating because 'nothing happens'? Was I watching the same movie? Because what I saw building up to the climax was some of the most gorgeous shots with very grounded characters that immersed me into the story. People react to a movie that they were expecting and it wasn't, so they rate it a 1. Really? This is a quality thriller that I recommend everyone check out.
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Incredibly tense, oddly realistic
funky-archibald26 May 2016
I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the score for this film. It doesn't do it any justice, and some of the reviews I've read here don't make valid points in my opinion. So, I felt I owed this film my own review.

First of all, the tension: man this thing has a killer build-up! You could call it slow (if you're a Transformers kind of guy), but it never gets "boring". You're on the edge of your seat from the moment the film starts, partly due to a very subtle but creepy soundtrack, which reminded me of sound effects in some of David Lynch's movies. Adding to that is the fantastic performance of Logan Marshall-Green as the tormented Will. He, and the events that follow, will keep you guessing about his mental health and whether his paranoia is justified or not, almost until the end. Michiel Huisman plays the very smooth and lulling host to great effect, and the rest of the group of friends is also very believable and natural.

THE scene (no spoilers, you'll know which one I'm talking about when you see it!) was so well done I really had the feeling I was there. It all happens so slow, so eerily apropos, and so jaw-droppingly unexpected that you really get the feeling of "oh my, that could be me out there". The little twist in the last couple of minutes is the cherry on the cake, and makes you even more uncomfortable than you already were.

This is a case of an "ignore the scores, just watch it already!" film, and I hope you enjoy it every bit as much as I did!
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A thriller for people who don't watch horror films
crazycokedupdream14 March 2017
I'm not going to give a review of this film. I'll leave that to others who can argue whether it was worth watch or not. For me, I feel it was one of the best thrillers with a horror bent that I have seen in a long while. But here's the thing, I don't really like horror films, avoid them most of the time, unless I heard a good word of mouth from someone. That's how I found The Invitation.

After reading the reviews here, I would say the criticism falls in to two opposing camps. Those that thought it was thrilling, terrifying and well done movie and those who thought it was a waste of their time, slow and they saw all the punches coming.

I think the difference is this, the latter camp watches a lot of horror films, nothing surprises them, they are looking for all the little nuances of all the other horror movies they have watched and are comparing them to the film they are currently watching. They are two - three steps ahead of a conventional audience and thus, nothing surprises them. To these folks, I can understand why the film fell flat, it's clear if you put the movie under a microscope you can tell what's going to happen and naturally with the purposefully drawn out pace of this film, they get bored waiting for the payoff.

I, as well as the people who I have give / shown this film to, fall in to the other camp. We rarely watch films like this and therefore are willing to let it all play out without trying the guess what's going to happen next. It's certainly a creepy film and while we might imagine where it's going, we are willing to suspend our expectations and go along for the ride.

My advice, watch this if you enjoy the ride up on the climbing roller coaster without thinking about the plunge when you reach the top.
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Go in Blind - Don't Watch the Trailer or Read the Reviews
gsuplee2 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This film was a pleasant surprise. The only thing I knew about this movie was the buzz about it. There has been some talk of it being slow, but I disagree. I think the pacing is what builds up to....well, you'll see. And just when you think you know how it ends, you get a punch in the stomach with the final scene.

Anyone who is crapping on this movie just didn't "get it". Logan Marshall-Green was tremendous in portraying both his grief and his paranoia. The coyote sequence at the beginning of the film is a harbinger of things to come, and oh-so-symbolic. A truly wonderful film. I tip my hat to everyone involved in making this gem of a movie.
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Journeys and Destinations
A_Llama_Drama12 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I was intrigued by The Invitation due to the (seriously) glass of red wine on the poster. It looked at once mature and alluring but also incredibly dark. I convinced my brother to watch it with me one night and this is our story.

The Invitation sets itself up as a dark tale from the opening scene. A car ride ends in disaster and our hero, while going to his ex- wife's home for a dinner party, has to put an animal out of its misery. Will is unreadable, clearly suffering some form of PTSD. His girlfriend is supportive but it's obvious she's kept outside of his thought processes.

When they arrive at the dinner party, it's hard to believe they know any of the guests. Actually, they've all been friends for years but, as anyone who's ever gone to a dinner part would know, it can be hard to be comfortable when there is a giant, dead elephant in the room. Everyone is at once eerily cheery but also naturally superficial. Is it Will's attitude that's causing conversation to stop dead every time people are reminded of his presence?

Eden enters and you realise she's struggling just as much as Will. Eden is Will's ex, newly remarried and eager to show off the lifestyle that has brought her peace. It's revealed that their son died in an accident and that the grief and blame tore the couple apart. The difference between Eden and Will is, she's trying (not very well, mind you) to get over it.

And so there you have it. A middle-class dinner party that is about grief and madness and red wine. The guests are trying hard to forget the ugliness of the tragedy that rendered all their lives and Will is doing his damndest to drag the corpse into the light for everyone to gape at. Who's really crazy here? Is it the middle-class manners that mean avoiding harsh topics and not allowing your friends the chance to really grieve? Is it the grieving father who wants to find horror in everything just to cope? Or is it the grieving mother who has turned to a specific religion to help her understand life and death?

As the tension mounts and conversation topics become darker and harder to avoid, Will's becomes increasingly paranoid. Both he and Eden are looking for answers to their son's death and perhaps they could be found if they weren't too busy with one trying to blame the other and one doing all they can to forget.

The director does a stellar job in maintaining a mundane and banal tone to the first half of the film. These people are dull but their situation has forced them to be. As the evening continues, though, the sense of screws turning, pennies dropping and clothes shedding becomes palpable. People are not who they seem and it's difficult to tell who is being honest with their intentions and who isn't just plain crazy.

The movie builds to a dazzling final act that is satisfyingly violent. Not only that but it offers a devastating look at grief and how easily those grieving can be manipulated.

So when we started watching, my brother was complaining about the banality of the conversations. The lack of anything compelling. As the story continued, he began to quieten down. When it finished, he told me, two days later, that he couldn't stop thinking about it. Such was the impact that a story steeped in humanity gone awry had had on him. And myself, for that matter. I'd recommend it. EVeryone is talking about Get Out right now but The Invitation was there first. Go on, accept the invitation.
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A Memorable and Intense Experience
Lilly7515 September 2015
This is the kind of film that invites much thought during and afterward. The story leads you to constantly question what is really happening at any given moment, and whenever you are certain that you know exactly what is going to happen, something new appears to make you question that. There is a powerful and intense atmosphere of dread and stress throughout, all building to a terrifying conclusion, but I was taken unawares by how emotional the whole thing would be. This is a very poignant film. The characters seem real, and the performances are excellent, especially from the lead, Logan Marshall-Green. This film casts a very potent spell and I can say that days later I am still thinking about it. I can't think of anything quite like it. It certainly made me frightened to visit California.
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wasted potential
axapvov17 September 2018
I don´t mind the slow build-up, I think it´s justified, kind of like the calm before the storm. The problem is how much of it is wasted. We focus on the main character´s grief, which in the end isn´t that important, while the other characters are completely ignored. One tiny conversation with each one of them, that´s all we know. The girlfriend Kira literally disappears for an hour. It often feels like Will is all by himself in that house. Suspicion gets bigger but none of the guests seem to care about anything. There are some small comments, of course, but we have 5 or 6 characters devoid of any personality or will. I feel like some events could have been much stronger if those characters weren´t merely filling the space.

There are some fine things, though, I´d never wanted to punch John Carroll Lynch so hard in the face. The same goes for Lindsay Burdge.
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An intense experience
A powerful feature film. Despite some reminiscence (group of friends, dinner, the house atmosphere, colors) with "Coherence" is undoubtedly an original movie. A very interesting point made by the director (who had already done Girlfight and Jennifer's Body) over a possible processing of the pain of a loss, in a quite denying way, perhaps cynical, reaching extremes of aggressiveness. A lot of tension, making us doubt who you believe (or even what is real) at every step, until the crux of the matter comes; you may wait a little for that, but it's worth it. Point for the director for not using low blows. Worthwhile if you want to spend a very intense time. With regards to actors' work, "Will" comes out unscathed. "Eden" maybe a little artificial, but I think it is an intentional nuance given by the director. The rest comes off well. The screenplay is pretty good. Although it is not revolutionary, the pace is accurate, keeps the suspense, and plays with ambiguity.
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Great Suspense early on and a Solid Climax
MattBirk11 April 2016
The Invitation will certainly go down as a hidden gem in the thriller/horror genre in the coming months. It was recently released on VOD with damn near no publicity so hopefully word-of-mouth will save this movie. So far it is a critical hit (over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes) and was a hit at the numerous film festivals it premiered at months ago.

LMG plays a damaged man who has been through a lot in his life and is still grieving for his past mistakes. He and a few others get invited to a mysterious dinner party where things go from normal to strange very, very quickly. But the interesting thing is only one character (LMG) seems to see the strangeness while everyone else is laughing it up and enjoying the night. It's interesting because he isn't afraid to speak his mind about how he feels the night is going and what he finds 'strange'. But the sad part is, he's seen as a damaged soul so his outbursts are immediately dismissed. It's the subtle clues he notices (something as basic as a drinking game or a bottle of expensive wine) that make The Invitation suspenseful. Tiny clues that leave you guessing that something larger is at play, which may or may not be the case.

To say anything more would be potentially spoiling the movie, and with most movies, it's the ending that makes or breaks a movie and this one is no different. The ending is well worth the wait, so if you are a fan of suspenseful movies, this is one of the years must see thrillers.
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Contrived plot and way too slow
erikegeland4 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I normally do not write reviews, but people should be given a fair warning to avoid this stinker.

While I can appreciate what the director has tried to do here, that is make a tense psychological thriller that slowly draws you in, The Invitation falls short in just about every department.

The plot is pretty standard stuff. A couple is invited to a lavish reunion dinner with old friends. The occasion being that the hosts abruptly disappeared and went to Mexico for two years. You know, the kind of stuff people do all the time.

But something does not seem right. The hosts are just too friendly and for unexplained reasons invite mysterious guests that are complete strangers to everyone but them. Hardly your typical reunion, but alright - it's a movie. Suspension of disbelief and all that.

However the plot takes a turn for the worse. How on earth am I supposed to believe that there is no cell coverage in a fancy LA suburb? Are we in the United States or some third world country?

This annoyed me to no end because the story hinges on the very fact that the guests are trapped and can't call for help. Add in that the hosts keep all the doors locked and had iron bars installed on every window and the prize for guessing what happens next is the grand amount of zero.

Still The Invitation manages to become even more ridiculous. For what purpose would anyone want to kill their long time friends? What possible motivation could explain such behaviour? The answer: the hosts joined a suicide cult while in Mexico. Apparently is killing your loved ones the road to salvation when you're struggling with the death of a child and coke addiction.

A movie does not have to be realistic, but what motivates the main characters has to make sense or else they're not believable. That is definetly not the case with The Invitation.

The ending is also pretty weak. For even more unexplained reasons this suicide cult has gotten incredibly popular in said LA suburb where the movie takes place.

Why? Did they all go to Mexico at the same time and decided to buy houses in the exact same neigbourhood to fulfill their newly acquired urge to commit suicide while having dinner? Forget about getting some thinly veiled explanation to this, you'll have to figure it out all by yourself.

This movie is beyond stupid. Stay clear unless you're a glutton for high blood pressure.
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To The Invitation, I Send My Regrets
Jared_Andrews31 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The Invitation is, in a word, irritating. It overflows with unnecessarily jumpy flashbacks and blurred memories in an effort to appear mysterious. The movie wants you to believe that it is complicated and deep. But it isn't. The movie is simple and shallow.

The filmmakers spend so much time stuffing our faces with distracting, strange music and even stranger behavior of the dinner guests in an attempt to unnerve us viewers. They want you to find the evening weird (which it is) and confusing (which it isn't) so you will have doubts about what will happen (you shouldn't because the answer is obvious).

Here is the premise of the movie (I will write this as simplistically as the movie presents it). Old friends who haven't seen each other in years all arrive at a dinner party hosted by one friend and her new husband. The night is basically a reunion except everyone is a little uncomfortable to see each other again. So actually it's just a reunion.

As the evening carries on the hosts exhibit increasingly odd behaviors, which make the guests uncomfortable and the protagonist (a bearded, long-haired man named Will) suspicious. The hosts are both awkwardly happy, which the hostess explains is due to their choice to do away with negative emotions. As if human beings can simply choose not to experience any undesirable feelings. Her pontification is extremely irritating to hear and extremely false.

Later, the hosts show everyone a video of a 20something year old cancer patient dying and beam about how wonderful it is, how wonderful death is because it is the only way to truly be free.

"Are you guys in a cult?" One guest blurts the question that needed asking.

They are. Obviously. Of course they deny half-heartedly then attempt to distract everyone with a bizarre new party game. I'll spare the details, just know that it makes the guests uncomfortable.

After watching this scene, most viewers probably expect the remainder of the movie's plot to play out in a painfully predictable sequence. It does. Once again I will spare the details since certain readers may still want to watch this movie for some reason. Rest assured that nothing will surprise you.

I mentioned how much this movie irritated me, and I want to briefly speak on that point once more. I will mention particulars about the opening scene and how it connects with the remainder of the movie. Here we go.

*Minor Spoiler Alert* The film opens with a couple (Will and his girlfriend) driving to a dinner party that neither seems particularly excited to attend, a relatable concept for many of us. The car suddenly hits a coyote, which serves as the first jump scare of the movie. Will exits the vehicle to inspect the situation and eventually mercy kills the animal with a tire iron.

I am uncertain about the purpose of this scene. Maybe it was merely an unsettling appetizer for the uncomfortable dinner party that followed. Perhaps it was just a red herring, like much of the movie. Maybe it was intended to introduce the cult's message that dying is the only way to escape from pain.

Maybe, but I hope not because it's a terrible parallel to the beliefs of the cult member dinner hosts. The coyote's circumstances don't apply at all to any of the attendees of the dinner party. The coyote experiences excruciating pain and will die within minutes. The people were not injured. None of them were hit by cars. None of them are sick. They are going to live healthy and happy lives for the next 40 or 50 years. Sure, they have their struggles, but they will have plenty of opportunities to be happy. The coyote will not.

*End of Spoiler* And I'm finished. Sorry for the rant. The whole movie caused me such irritation that I needed to vent to make myself feel better. To avoid similar irritation of your own, I recommend watching something else.
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Boring and predictable
GeneGotimer12 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Boring and predictable, but not at the same time.

The first 80 minutes were about as exciting as watching paint dry. No one could have predicted the film could be that uneventful for that long.

Then it got predictable. All the stuff you had been waiting for finally happened. 15 minutes of Luke warm action that you thought would happen earlier in the movie finally trickles out.

Then, just as the last moments of the film arrive, a surprise ending! Which, instead of being sprung on you hoping to leave a lasting impression, is instead gradually introduced so that 30 seconds later the big reveal is now a tepid event that you caught onto 28 seconds ago, 29 if somehow your brain hadn't turned off before that and taken the extra second to wake up.

This movie will make you wish for the time of analog TVs, when you could tune to a non- station and just watch static.
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Builds up for Nothing
gpride200915 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
First of all, movies like this should not be categorized as horror since it is a thriller at its best. There is a big difference between a thriller and a horror. Movies like 'The Exorcist', 'Paranormal Activity' are horror movies, whereas movies like 'Scream', 'Saw', 'Final Destination' are thrillers.

Regarding 'The Invitation', the first 1 hour and 20 minutes just "build up" to what is coming next: 15 minutes of quick and easy deaths.

It was very easy to predict what is the "big and unexpected" revelation or twist. The moment they played the video of the dying woman and you realize a cult is involved, it became obvious that a mass murder or suicide was the intention behind the invitation.

I was expecting, or let me put it this way, it would have been much more dramatic if the characters were convinced to take their own lives. especially since it was mentioned that "everyone has suffered from a loss". The guy who showed up late for example, imagine that he had arrived 3 hours earlier for real and was convinced to take out his own life on video, and then the tape was played to his girlfriend, who thinks she has nothing to live for and was the first one to do it. I know this might sound a bit crazy, but I think it would have achieved a much better dramatic and intense outcome for viewers.

The only surprising element was the ending when they realize that it was not only them in this situation.

To sum up, the build up should have been much shorter and more suspenseful, and the last 20 minutes of the movie should have been more intense and better written and directed.
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shreeree16 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This didn't do a thing for me. Half way through it I just found myself not caring what happen to these insipid people who didn't know the difference between a party and a therapy session. To me a party is a happy place, with laughter, dancing. No death films, or deep talks about the death of loved ones. It was more like a wake. I can stay home with my stuff and be happy instead of being in a room full of people who were weird. Even those they called friends didn't seem to have much of a likable personality.

Now let me say this...if my ex invite me to anything he's throwing in the old domestic dwelling we called home, after I haven't heard or seen him in two years I wouldn't go. Period. Will knows his ex-wife well enough to know something is off with her which means something is off in general.

So of course, no one wants to believe the man in the room who knows ll really well except for three people who are just weird in general and don't fit in. They wouldn't have come if it wasn't for the fact they all loved his ex-wife, who none had heard from in two years.

Now as for the Black woman he brought with him and I'm telling you as a Black woman, if my man suggested we go party with his ex I would have said hell no especially if in the entire time we were dating he's never introduced me to not one person at the party before the party. I need to know at least one other person to feel comfortable about walking into the unknown. The unknown being a woman he loved very much once into a home he lived happily in with this woman until they lost a child. Also, if I see my man going through something in general I would have not allowed him to go through it alone and side with these people I didn't know.

When he was upset and went the bathroom, I would have been there with him to make sure he was okay and tell him I was ready to go. By the times this character gets to that point, he thinks he's just going through things because of his son's death. So they badly wrote that character's reaction in the beginning because cultural upbringing matters. I figure it wasn't written with a Black woman in mind but they wanted diversity.

One of the things I found most irritating is these cult people wanted to die why they felt the need to take others with them. They should have explained their reasoning and a bit far fetched that all of them would be in that same area of town in a large city.

The only plus is the two leads were alive and their relationship stronger for it. They both know they loved each other enough to kill for the other to protect them.
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Brilliant! Great thriller
flowertimezones8 April 2016
The Invitation is by far the most suspenseful and creepy movie I have seen in a long time. From the very beginning I was pulled into the story and the characters, couldn't take my eyes off the screen. I can't say enough about the actors, they made the characters come alive and you felt something for each of them and their situations. Tammy Blanchard was superb as Eden, the goddess of her own home. Michiel Huisman, as her new man, delivered a fantastic performance as he carefully balanced that line between good and evil. And Logan Marshall-Green made me feel his grief, even before I knew what he was grieving about. The rest of the cast is equally as good. Some of the best moments are between Huisman and Marshall-Green, like two alpha males posturing for the upper hand.

This movie really makes you feel uncomfortable with its awkward dinner dialogue and questionable party games. Its a slow burn, but not as slow as I was expecting as the dinner party antics keep you engaged. I loved the pace - I could feel my tension grow and subside along with the scenes. The ending is superb and thankfully not too drawn out. This is one where you say "hold on tight and enjoy the ride".

Kudos to Karyn Kusama for giving us this gem that I might just break out at say, a dinner party?!
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If You Hear Cult, Run: The Invitation
basementbanter11 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
At the suggestion of a friend, I checked this movie out a few days ago, and what a great suggestion it was. Holy sh*t. It was intense. I kid you not from the very first scene I was uncomfortable, nervous and sweating. Although that probably has more to do with my over-productive sweat gland. My own bodily functions aside, this movie is fantastic.

The premise is simple enough. A group of old friends reunite after two years for a dinner party in the hills outside LA. These friends suffered a falling out after a tragedy befell two of them, a couple Will, played by a guy trying his best to look like Vigo Mortensen, and his ex-wife Eden, played by some creepy psycho lady. Returning to the place of the tragedy, his Eden's old house, Will brings a new girlfriend to the dinner party. The party consists of half a dozen or so couples. Eden is living in the old house and married a second husband, named David. He is played by the recast Dario Naharis, and sorry to Game of Thrones book hardos he still doesn't have a yellow mustache nor does he rock a blue beard.

Two mysterious friends of David's join the old group of friends. Pruitt, played by that fat bald-middle aged actor your 100% going to recognize but won't be able to name, and Sadie, the very definition of don't stick your dick in crazy, even though she's gorgeous enough to make you think twice and decide its totally worth it how bad could it be, then you end up with a broken computer and frozen chicken all over the floor, true story. The group comes together for dinner and drinks with some laughs, mostly coming from a really funny fat guy (only naturally, we all have one of those), some tears, and a ton of tense, thrilling scenes.

Eden and David recently returned from a long trip to Mexico where they joined a cult. Hoping to deal with their dark pasts and personal demons, they accepted 'the invitation'. Now if you aren't terrified of the word cult already, then you are probably in a cult. Because those things are f**king creepy as sh*t. I don't care what anyone says I'm not drinking your damn Kool-Aid®. My own personal fears of cults aside, this movie will have you holding your seat till your knuckles are whiter than that one time your dad tried to rap along to Kanye.

What I love most about this movie however, is how it plays with conventions and tropes of horror movies. For those who watch a lot of horror movies, the conventions and tropes of horror are easy to see coming. This movie cleverly sets up all of the basic scares and 'twists' that I've come to expect. But it went in a completely different direction than I expected at every turn. It got to the point where I genuinely did not know what was going to happen next. I started doubting who was the protagonist, what was logical and what was happening. It was almost as if one character knew he was in a horror movie and kept looking for classical horror movie tropes, but the movie was doing its best convincing us it wasn't a horror movie, which weirdly made it even scarier.

From the beginning to the very end, there were twists, scares, and more tension than my body knew how to process. I highly recommend this movie to anyone. And if you are someone who is sick of crappy horror movies and wants to see something original, clever, and different I cannot recommend this enough. It is on Netflix® right now so you have no excuse not to watch it tonight. Screw that exam that determines your whole future. And if you don't have Netflix® get your life together. Get it or ask someone who has it to borrow it. If you don't have friends I don't know man buy a cat or something.
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slow burn horror and tense psychological thriller
gregking413 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The Invitation is the new psychological thriller from Karyn Kusama (the superb Girlfight and the awful, messy sci-fi action thriller Aeon Flux, etc) and is a study in delusion, paranoia and suspicion. This is a slow burn horror story about a reunion of old friends that goes horribly wrong. Will (Logan Marshall-Green, recently seen in Madame Bovary, etc) has reluctantly accepted an invitation to attend a dinner party reunion with some old friends at the house he once owned with his ex-wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard). But since their divorce Eden now lives in the house with her new husband David (Michiel Huisman), whom she met on a retreat in Mexico while recovering from a nervous breakdown. Will is still grieving over the tragic death of his son, and is in a fragile emotional state. He begins to feel that something is not quite right about the gathering, but is he unnecessarily paranoid or does he have reason to be concerned? There are early portents that something is wrong, and a palpable air of uneasiness and distrust soon overtakes the gathering. When the hosts insist on playing a rather unsettling parlour game the awkwardness further enhances the growing sense of uneasiness. Writers Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (Crazy/Beautiful, the dire buddy cop comedy Ride Along, etc) have created a cast of oddball characters to add to the creepy atmosphere. Most of the cast is not that well known, which works in the film's favour. John Carroll Lynch has a vaguely sinister and menacing presence as the mysterious stranger Pruitt. The action is confined to a single location and Kusama makes the most of the claustrophobic setting, slowly ramping up the tension until the film bursts into full on mayhem and carnage. The impact of the final shot is devastatingly effective as the full horror of what is happening is revealed.
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IMDb and I are going to have trust issues after this...
brionnasims5 August 2018
6.7?!? This movie was such a disappointment that I feel that I should be reimbursed for emotional distress (bored into tears). Whatever you think your time is worth whether it's $1 an hour or $1,000 dollars an hour you're better off just taking that amount of money and physically throwing it in the trash. That's how ripped off you'll feel after wasting an hour and twenty minutes on nothing but mindless small talk by the dinner guests, corny flashbacks, and intense stares from the protagonist. Only to get to the climax, which is much like a selfish lover; unsatisfying, quick, and with no apology or explanation.
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Huge disappointment (Contains Spoiler)
lindykay-627739 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I forked over $6.99 to see this "tense, psychological thriller" on VOD after my newspaper wrote a glowing review. I was extremely disappointed. The filmmakers effectively create a suffocating level of tension and creepiness. The viewer is continually guessing what is really going on. What I imagined was going on was more interesting that what actually happened.

**Spoiler Alert**

The disturbing tone was set in the first scene when the characters needlessly run over a coyote and then had to kill it to put it out of its misery. Why such gratuitous animal cruelty? It had nothing to do with the story.

The climactic ending made me think Quentin Tarantino had wandered on set and decided to take over. Hello? When did this movie turn into "Django Unchained"?

The final scene had me wondering, "Oh, so this is a commentary on violence in our society?" I was actually relieved to be out of that suffocating house with the bars on the windows and the locks on the doors. The sirens were like a breath of fresh air. Whew! There's a world out there. And how exactly were Will and Kira able to carry crazy Eden outside and dump her in the yard when no one could get out of the house during the murderous rampage? Did she have a key in her flowing white gown? (You always know that the character in white is going to be blood soaked before it's all over.)

Finally, if I were at that dinner party I would have left within minutes. Granted, some sadistic bald guy who parked behind me would not have let me leave, but at least I would have tried. I kept wondering why everyone stuck around long after it got seriously creepy. It just didn't ring true. I want my money back.
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A terrible film
devi-pabreja22 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This is a slasher flick disguised as an art-house horror movie with some clunky dialogue in Act 1 and some gestures towards emotional complexity of the characters. What's the easiest way to do that? One dead child, one gay couple, one failed business. Bingo, there you have it. The other thing that pisses me off is the minimum ten line length for reviews. IMDb, why would you do that? Why would I waste my breath writing really long reviews for shitty movies? Are you trying to encourage the watching of bad films, because people who dislike the movie don't want to spend time and effort reviewing it? Well, you can't stop me because not only was this movie awful, it was pretentiously awful, and I would like to extend my hand to other potential viewers and tell them: stop. it looks like chocolate, but it isn't.
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This film makes no sense
dbborroughs3 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The premise of the film has a man and his new wife/girlfriend going to a dinner party thrown by his ex-wife (who has just returned from a long time off the grid in Mexico) at his old house- where their son had died. Once they get there some ominous things begin to happen and the happy reasons for the party are fund to be rather quite dark.

I am puzzled that this film is getting a solid buzz when the people I saw this with were kind of left scratching their heads. I absolutely hated the film finding it the sort of film where you have to not only suspend disbelief but kill it to have it make sense on any level what so ever. This is the sort of film filled with moments where you can't believe that anyone would be so stupid as to actually go along with any of it beginning with returning to a house haunted by memories to be with a woman you left on questionable terms. Once the cult leader locked the door I lost all respect as no one batted an eye to the obviously ominous way it was done.

If you've seen any number of horror films you've been here before, especially anyone that involves a life changing new way of thinking.

This was one of the worst films I saw in 2015 largely because it makes no real world sense-with a final denouncement that is beyond ludicrous.
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This one blew me away!
albereinstein9 April 2016
So I watched this movie, already kinda knowing the feel of the story but wasn't too sure of the premise. But as time progressed, it became crystal clear where this movie was going. This is the kinda of movie that really have you think that people are people, are not people, but live very dark lives, and that, nothing is as it seems. This one blew me away. Even after realizing what this film was about, I was still taken aback of how the story unfolded. This movie is definitely not for the faint of heart. For mature audiences only. Overall I love it, story, characters, even the ending took me by surprise. This is a conversation movie, you know, the kind you talk about after leaving the theater. I'll watch again, this time with friends.
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A tense thriller that keeps your attention even with a straightforward plot
wyattwalker16 June 2016
Upon seeing the trailer for this movie, I thought I had figured it out for the most part. While not explicit in revealing the plot, the scenes and dialogue snippets used give a lot away. As the credits rolled, I was amazed at how much of the movie I had expected, and amazed at how it retained my attention regardless.

The movie is set at a dinner party, where most of the guests are friends or their +1s. Once everyone is gathered, it quickly becomes clear that there is an ulterior motive to sending out the invitations. I won't say what that motive is, but you can probably guess from the trailer. The main character is the archetypal unreliable narrator. At any given moment, my opinion of if he was delusional or perfectly reasonable was in constant flux. The tension is maintained throughout, both through the camera work and the soundtrack.

The main character continues to cause a scene, and soon the dinner party swells into chaotic action. While much of this is unsurprising, the final scene is what blew me out of the water. Again, I'll say nothing about it, but I was rooted to my seat for countable minutes thinking about what had just occurred. Highly recommended.
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I'd rather be left uninvited...
thecaddgod29 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
What can I say, but next time leave me off the guest list. Basically this was 99 minutes of my life that I'll never get back. Everything about this movie was sub-par. The writing, directing, editing and the acting were mediocre at best. The premise of the movie is great, but the execution is miserable. Nothing, save for the last 15 minutes, had me captivated or even compelled to keep watching, and I would have stopped, but for some reason I kept expecting it to get better. I kept holding out hope that the last __(insert number of minutes here) minutes of trite drivel are finally justified, but that never truly happened. It was like the world's most boring, slow motion train wreck. Mind you, it isn't the worst film I've seen, but it certainly ranks pretty low on the list. Everything about the plot and supposed twists were pretty evident and foreshadowed obviously. Guy talks about a cult, guess what happens. Guy talks about killing his wife, guess what happens. Guy freaks out over someone missing from the party, guess what happens. And yeah, I had a pretty strong idea of what was going to happen when guy lit the red lamp. In essence, virtually every event in the beginning of the movie may as well have been a neon sign saying "Guess what happens next!".

Now, with films like this I never know who to blame, the writer or the editor. But someone needs to choose a different career path, because one of those two elements (or perhaps both) failed spectacularly. There was no actual character development. Nothing to genuinely explain why the main characters behaved the way they did. Oh sure, there was an attempt to do so, but that attempt was shallow and all but worthless. I get that the guy is mourning the loss of his son, that was explained pretty early on, but what's the reason for his bizarre and erratic behavior? Has he always acted that way, or is he still that deeply traumatized by his son's death 2 years earlier? Does he always snoop around people's houses? And why don't we ever see what actually happened to his son? The event itself seems to play pretty heavily to explain his mind set, but it's never fully revealed. Maybe if we knew what happened to his son it would help us relate to this character, but no, we're robbed of that opportunity and he becomes another dull, lifeless character in a dull, lifeless film.

Insofar as the directing is concerned, meh, I've seen vastly better. I think, overall, the direction was handled thusly...

Director to Actor: "You act crazy and unhinged because this dinner party has reignited your unresolved grief over the loss of your son"

Director to other Actors: "You all act like you don't know what his problem is because it wasn't your kid that died in some mysterious fashion"

Director to all Actors: "And remember, getting an invitation out of the blue to see a group of people you haven't seen for years after their one of their kids died and was buried isn't slightly odd at all, so act like everything is normal...except for Mr. Unhinged."

Since all of the characters have the depth of a puddle, directing this movie doesn't seem like it was much of a challenge, and presumably didn't take any more effort than the writing or editing.

Overall, the film has all of the look and feel of either a film school drop-out's mediocre attempt at mediocrity, or a first-year film school student's first project. Either way, not the stuff of legend, and certainly not worth the hype.

If your goal is to see an incredibly well thought out and put together film, pick another. If you're really into seeing good concepts ruined tragically, then this is the movie for you!
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Do not waste your money
lavaughandeadder12 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Wasn't hard to figure out... very unbelievable and one minute they have reception, the next minute they don't.. OK... and everybody in the neighbour hood is doing it? Really? And somebody is really going to go to their ex's place to have a dinner party with them when they have somebody new in their life? OH, and what was with the crazy lady? She didn't need to be in the movie. And I didn't think a couple of them could act. I am very glad that I waited for this to come out to be able to watch it on my computer. Really glad that I did not have to go pay to see it. I did not find it thrilling nor did I find anything to even attempt at making it really suspenseful. My husband watched it with me, or attempted to, but he fell asleep watching it. I think the only thing that kept me awake was the fact that we were snuggling while watching it and my leg fell asleep and I was unable to get up and turn it off. I don't recommend watching this at all, especially if you are looking for something that is thrilling or even have a slight sign of horror in it.
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