On Karyn Kusama’s The Invitation (2015)

by Kayann Mitchell

I sat down to watch The Invitation with very little knowledge of its premise, which is how I like it, blissful ignorance. And I highly recommend to everyone queueing up this interesting and suspenseful title they do the same.

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In The Invitation Karyn Kusama‘s 4th feature film. We meet Will (Logan Marshal-Green) and Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi) fairly quickly and go along with them as they meet with long time friends and his ex Eden (Tammy Blanchard) and new love David (Michiel Huisman) after a 2 year period. We know fairly early on that something bad happened between Will and Eden and watching them interact with one another and their friends is an awkward pursuit. As it’s clear Will is painfully uncomfortable and Eden is high strung.

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But as the movie goes on we start to get glimpses of their past and the reason for Will and Eden’s current behaviour. We also get to witness Will slowly starting to unravel at the seams. Sinking into moments of paranoia and agitation. As we the viewer constantly wonder whether what he’s experiencing is real or a product of his obvious PTSD at being back in Eden’s home. We also get introduced to The Invitation which also seems to play on Will’s psyche.

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Is there something sinister afoot at this dinner party or has the trauma of Will’s past finally come to fruition? Well that I cant tell you because that would ruin the fun. And this movie is fun and tense and often times hard to watch as this group of friends come together after a protracted absence. Watching them manoeuvre round the elephant in the room and each other is daunting to say the least. As is watching the grief and sadness that fairly drips off Will and Eden’s willful cheeriness. If I did the thumb thing I would assuredly give this one 2 but since I don’t I can only recommend that you give the invitation a chance. You may think you know where it’s going, but I promise you don’t.

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