‘Sit down. Have a drink. Get uncomfortable.’
Who Invited Them is a 2022 American horror film about a young married couple whose new neighbours stay after a successful housewarming party.
Written and directed by Duncan Birmingham (shorts: Exterminator; Takeout Night; The Bad Half; Excuse Me). Produced by Mary Pat Bentel and Ami Werges.
The movie stars Ryan Hansen (Fantasy Island; Santa Clarita Diet; iZombie), Timothy Granaderos (The Workshop; Untitled Horror Movie), Melissa Tang (The Kominsky Method; The Big Bang Theory; A Good Day to Die Hard), Avital Ash, Judy Kain, Tipper Newton, Barry Rothbart and Zeke Nicholson.
Adam (Ryan Hansen) and Margo’s (Melissa Tang) housewarming party is a success. But one couple lingers after the other guests leave, revealing themselves to be wealthy neighbours.
Hoping to prove themselves to be hospitable, they keep the drinks flowing, only to realise there might be sinister intent in the air. As night cap after night cap leads to another, Adam and Margo suspect their new friends are duplicitous strangers…
“Who Invited Them is entertaining and funny, but it doesn’t do enough to set itself apart from other home invasion thrillers. The slow build-up will lose some audiences before things even really get going; you can’t really call this film a slow-burn, because the ending is pretty predictable.” AIPT
“In the end, you’re left with the possibility that Adam and Margo moved into the wrong neighborhood or maybe they just wish their lives were a bit more exciting. Either way, from beginning to end, Who Invited Them is a blast, a party you won’t want to be over, and an impressive directorial debut.” Bloody Disgusting
“Uncomfortable and strange, Who Invited Them is simplicity done right with a killer twist that works perfectly – or more precisely an ending that I didn’t expect. At a great runtime, and only slightly messy in landing its twisty moment, this is one you have to watch.” 8 out of 10, But Why Tho?
” …it sadly opts for a rather conventional conclusion that doesn’t match the brilliance of the screenplay and performances. But putting that minor criticism aside, Who Invited Them holds moments of sheer brilliance as the night begins to take a far darker turn. Birmingham’s feature debut is an exciting, humorous and enjoyable take on the home invasion thriller…” 3.5 out of 5, Cinerama Film
“The latter half of Who Invited Them? is full of wild twists. But in terms of actual horror content, by the time the blood does start to flow it feels a little late. But with such well-drawn characters and playful direction, the film is way more entertaining than a cocktail party at a coworker’s house regardless. ” 3.5/5 Dread Central
“Anyone with a passing familiarity of horror cinema will be able to make broad stroke guesses about where Who Invited Them’s plot is heading. The fun comes from writer-director Birmingham’s witty script, brimming with believable social awkwardness and point-scoring micro aggressions. As the drink and drugs flow, buried tensions are teased to the surface.” Electric Shadows
“Despite a few small gripes Who Invited Them remains a thoroughly enjoyable watch with charismatic performances from all four leads and a clever, witty script that offers genuinely funny moments but also helps to prolong the tension.” 3.5 out of 5, The Fright Club
“Who Invited Them doesn’t forget about the shocking imagery, holding the cards closest to its metaphorical chest until the ideal moment. When the horror does arrive, mysteries unravel at rapid pace, and close out the film in impressive open-ended fireworks. A couple of plot threads don’t pay off as well as expected, but for the most part, the pared-down narrative works well…” Josh at the Movies
“It’s nice to see a thriller that is as unsettling for what doesn’t happen as what does. The four central performances are perfectly calculated – the hosts a mess of insecurities just waiting to be exposed, the guests sinister yet always deeply plausible. It’s more a comedy of unease than an outright horror, but all the more effective for that.” The Kim Newman Web Site
“The film may not contain anything particularly mind-blowing but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Instead, Who Invited Them is a sturdy and simplistic title in all the right ways as it allows itself to sink into its home invasion premise to offer thrills and dark humour that keeps everything moving until those final credits begin to roll.” 4 out of 5, Loud and Clear
” …presents strong acting from all four party-goers and excellent use of space as the film keeps a strong level of tension and interest despite our setting and cast focusing primarily on two couples and one house. One aspect of this intimate location and cast of characters is the ever-changing perspectives and alliances which makes it hard to decide who to root for.” Nightmarish Conjurings
“The feature debut of writer/director Duncan Birmingham showcases how to use one unique location to anchor a psychological thriller. Unfortunately, the film’s exquisite build bursts like an overblown balloon at its climax, the psychological warfare so well utilized up until that point not given solid underpinnings rendering the sudden violence and gore too random.” C+ Reeling Reviews
“The mystery of the house guests gradually builds, and their manipulations get more and more audacious and the plot gets built in a slow boil that when it pays off feels completely earned […] It was refreshing that the laughs in the movie were less punchline driven, as the humor and tragedy are embodied in the personalities of the characters with inherent flaws that we all can identify with.” The Scariest Things
Who Invited Them? premiered at the 2022 Overlook Film Festival in New Orleans on June 4, 2022. It will be available to stream on Shudder on September 1, 2022.
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