The Invitation review: I’ve seen this before

The Invitation is a movie that started out with Sam Raimi as director and was at first titled The Bride. However, with is departure, and with test audiences not liking the name, changed to The Invitation. As I have been doing a lot recently, I avoided the trailers. I don’t need to know the ending before I go into a movie, contrary to what marketing ‘gurus’ in the US seem to think. That said, it was pretty obvious this was going to be a vampire/horror leaning movie. I thought more horror, and I was wrong. Thankfully!

I haven’t watched a Vamp movie in quite a while. I’ve managed to avoid Mobius because, well… I think we all know. So I was keen to see something new with The Invitation. And at first it seems like you’re going to get it. So what’s it about?

Evelyn is a lonely person who works as a waitress and doesn’t have any power in her life sends off a DNA test. She gets a reply from a rather too keen cousin and is invited to visit the whole family in England. Firstly, I’ve done one of these DNA tests and I have to say that they do actually work. I’ve had cousins from all over the world matching with me like some pumped up Tinder ap. As of yet, I haven’t responded. For the very reasons that our hero Evelyn (Nathalie Emmanuel, Game of Thrones) shouldn’t, they’re out for something, possibly your blood!

the invitation bride

Superficial

The Invitation is inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula with elements of Get Out, Dusk till Dawn and Interview with a Vampire thrown in. And it’s no way as bad as a 29% score on Rotten Tomatoes. It follows Evie as she meets up with her long-lost British cousins, and they all woo her. You realise that not all is as it seems the movement she arrives at their large property. But more for what appears to be racial and class reasons. And that’s one of the problems I had here. The Invitation seems to be a movie that looks at inequality and race, but doesn’t have the guts to dig down into it. Instead it comes across as rather superficial, missing an opportunity to explore issues of privilege, especially when it comes to vampires.

For the first half of the film, we’re led to believe some horror element is stalking Evie. And I mean ghost type horror. And the twist, which is in NO way a twist as it’s pretty much given away in the trailers (which I watched after the movie), that her family are vamps, is almost laughably achieved.

the invitation evie

Weak sauce vamps

The head of the family of totally-not-vampires, is Thomas Doherty as Walter De Ville. He manages to channel a stoned-looking, hunk of a lead who is both annoying while charming. He’s obviously into Evie and after having it very clearly stated he isn’t related to her, she’s game. She then says a very silly thing while giddy on love, which basically ties her to him in some sort of magical bond. I won’t say more than that because spoilers.

What follows is a pretty much text book chase and fight vampire story. Nathalie Emmanuel does a great deal of heavy lifting here. While the script isn’t poor, it’s not very strong in lore, explanations or in world building. It is fun though. And I like fun movies, even if they are silly.

I’ll give The Invitation a…

6/10

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All the series and all the movies couldn't put society back together again.