Review by Adam Donato
August is certainly in the bottom third when it comes to movie months. It’s as if the month is in complete denial about the end of the summer movie season. Week one features the last big blockbuster. Week two features an array of genres thrown at the wall. Then school starts and the quality of movies drops drastically. The movie that is most emblematic of this trend is The Invitation. A working class girl seeks out her family tree and gets roped into attending a wedding at a fancy mansion in London, only to find something more sinister may be afoot. But just how bad is this trashy horror flick?
Pretty bad. This movie acts as a tepid love story for an hour and takes a sharp left turn into a ridiculous horror romp. If one is wondering whether saying that is a spoiler or not, the trailer basically gives the entire story away. Also, it seemed to be an open secret that this is a vampire movie. It’s clear from the commercial that there is some sort of cult gathering going on, but the specific type of horror movie did not seem clear to all.
That being said, with the whole sexy vampire thing going on, this feels like a movie that would've come out a decade ago. That would mean the target demographic for this type of movie would be teens, which would explain the PG-13 rating. This story definitely would have benefited from an R rating, especially with all the sex and blood inherent to the appeal of the movie. Sexy celebrities and cheap horror kills are all this movie has and it half assed both of those things.
The whole conceit of the movie is inherently ridiculous. Most horror movies these days are self-aware enough to call out stupid decisions like this. Scream didn’t even come out in the same century. Scream came out so long ago, there was a requel that came out earlier this year. Having a story that begins with a woman making such an obviously poor decision is laughable. Maybe if the movie maintained the zany tone of the last act, then this sort of thing would fly. The whole vibe of the movie is entirely uncomfortable as not only is it a poor decision to accept the invitation, but every interaction is so awkward. Themes of classism and racism are attempted, but not tackled with grace like Get Out or Ready or Not.
Unless you’re a high school freshman looking for a movie to go on a first date to where you can spend the whole movie debating on the right time to lean in for the kiss, then this is not the movie for you. 2022 has been quite the year for horror movies. Even in theaters now, there are much more appealing options in the form of Bodies Bodies Bodies and Nope. Please spend your hard earned money and time on one of those if you’re looking for a sexy scare, instead of this wannabe Twilight disaster.
The Invitation is now playing in theaters.