THE INVITATION (2015) Reviews and overview

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‘There is nothing to be afraid of’

The Invitation is a 2015 American horror film directed by Karyn Kusama (XXJennifer’s Body) from a screenplay written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi.

The movie stars Logan Marshall-Green (Update; Prometheus; Devil), Emayatzy Corinealdi, Aiden Lovekamp, Michelle Krusiec, Mike Doyle (Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word), Jordi Vilasuso, Jay Larson, Marieh Delfino, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman (The Other Lamb), Lindsay Burdge, John Carroll Lynch, Toby Huss, Danielle Camastra.


Will and Eden were once a loving couple. After a tragedy took their son, Eden disappeared.

Two years later, out of the blue, she returns with a new husband… and as a different person, eerily changed and eager to reunite with her ex and those she left behind.

Over the course of a dinner party in the house that was once his, the haunted Will is gripped by mounting evidence that Eden and her new friends have a mysterious and terrifying agenda. But can we trust Will’s hold on reality? Or will he be the unwitting catalyst of the doom he senses?


The Invitation is a masterful exercise in unbearable tension.” Bloody Disgusting

“Beautifully paced, the movie traces a steady arc from amiability to apocalypse.” Chicago Reader

“Considering how quickly people get bent out of shape over disagreements on social media (especially over hot-button topics like religion and faith), it’s not too far-fetched to think that some of the dangerous ideas introduced in The Invitation could very well happen in a scenario such as this. And that realism is probably the scariest aspect of all…” Daily Dead

“The Invitation works so well because it taps into our general distrust of the world around us and how our survival instinct has been muted and ignored in order to maintain the appearance of being polite. If there’s anything to learn from that, maybe the next time you feel something strange afoot you should make sure the key is still in the door.” Dread Central

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“The script tends to telegraph its climactic destination and a couple of key character names are a little on the nose (“Sadie”, “Eden”), but this impressively contained thriller ratchets up a sense of escalating unease via subtly uncomfortable character interactions and gradually unravelling agendas. Fragmented flashbacks fill in the backstory…” HorrorScreams VideoVault

“The ideas that are developed are ripe for exploration, and The Invitation aims to deepen the conversation. The sincerity and craft on display notwithstanding, the movie achieves a limited, unsettling level, and then stops right there.” Twitch Film

“Karyn Kusama is truly a gift behind the camera and she couldn’t have had a better return to the genre than this one. It’s a thrilling, paranoid-soaked slice of horror that has an unforgettably vicious, heart-pounding finale, and it’s one for the ages.” The Missing Reel


The Invitation premiered on March 13, 2015, at the SXSW film festival. In the US, it was released by Drafthouse Films theatrically and on-demand on March 25, 2016.


Teaser trailer:

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