Saturday, July 9, 2016
Day 28: The Invitation (2015) 1h 40m
There are moments when I watch a film and I can identify with a main character. Spending most of a party having one of those "something is going on that I'm not down with" feeling is definitely something I've done more than once. Luckily, none of those parties involved anybody in a weird death cult that plans to kill their old friends.
The Invitation is a literal invitation to a dinner party. A couple had returned to LA after being away for a few years after the death of a child and the end of a marriage. While they were away they had apparently found a strange cult that embraces death. Our main character, Will, is the ex-husband of the female in the cult couple and the father of the child that died.
Pretty much from the start Will keeps noticing little things that seem off. His continued paranoid outbursts keep upsetting his friends and his girlfriend. Truth be told, if someone had the doors locked and made me watch some cult recruitment video I'd be loosing my mind as well. Will has a major freak out after he hears a voicemail from a friend that said he was at the party but hadn't been there all night. The timing is just right for this friend to show up and Will kind of breaks down and accepts he has been winding up about nothing all night.
Then everything clicks for him...
During the toast he suddenly realizes the drinks are dosed and starts slapping drinks out of people's hands before they can drink. A girl that was just a friend of the couple gets up and starts screaming that Will has ruined everything and attempts to attack him. It's also noticed that one woman did drink and she is dead and foaming at the mouth. The couple and the friends of the couple then begin trying to pick everyone off one by one.
The best part of the film was the very end when Will notices a red lamp lit outside the house, and then sees others lit outside a dozen other homes on the hillside. It sent a definite chill down my spine at the thought of these bizarre cult murder suicides.
I was a teen when the Heaven's Gate group all killed themselves and had their purple sheets and Nike shoes to go on the Hale Bopp comet. The fact that I remember all of those details and more is probably want triggered that chill. That the death cult idea really isn't crazy enough to not exist...
I give The Invitation 3 Hale Bopp comets out of 5: