The Invitation (2015) Review

The Invitation (2015)

Directed by Karyn Kusama

Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Lindsay Burdge, Mike Doyle, Jay Larson, John Carroll Lynch

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
While attending a dinner party at his former home, a man thinks his ex-wife and her new husband have sinister intentions for their guests.

My Opinion:

After being so negative over the past two days when reviewing New Zealand horror comedies Housebound & Deathgasm, I’m happy to review this pretty solid & intense psychological horror/thriller. I’d seen some very positive reviews of The Invitation from fellow bloggers & the plot synopsis sounded like the sort of mystery I go for so I’m glad I listened to you guys as I did enjoy this one. 🙂

The setup was a little iffy as Logan Marshall-Green brings his girlfriend to a dinner party his ex-wife & her new husband are having at his former home with a bunch of their mutual friends. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think many people invite their ex-spouses to dinner parties – I think they just meet up with their mutual friends separately. But these people appear to have a lot of money & people with money can be a bit weird, so, who knows!

I’ll try to not give too much away but there’s a tragic past between the divorced couple & I really felt for Logan Marshall-Green’s character (and his ex too but she’s so weird you can’t really relate to her in the same way). He plays his character well, with a great escalating paranoia that never goes too over-the-top. You remain on his side as something clearly bizarre is going on that most of the other guests either don’t notice or choose to ignore.

There’s a good mix of different personalities in this. Marshall-Green & his girlfriend (Emayatzy Corinealdiare) are, obviously, the main characters we’re meant to root for while most of the friends are fun (albeit in a self-absorbed sort of way). None of their characters are really explored, though, as this is mainly about the divorced couple & the thing that tore them apart and the movie did well to convey their feelings to the audience.

The remaining characters, the ex-wife’s new husband and the new friends they’ve made, are the ones we’re not sure if we can trust. Are they crazy? Or is Logan Marshall-Green losing it? Or maybe some of the mutual friends can’t be trusted?

This is the sort of psychological mystery thriller that I enjoy & I’d recommend it to those who aren’t necessarily horror fans as this is certainly more thriller than horror. I have to say that the pacing was a little slow and, besides Marshall-Green, I didn’t really care too much about anyone (but at least they weren’t all totally hateful like in Don’t Breathe). This is also another one of those movies with a Game Of Thrones actor (sexy Daario: Michiel Huisman as the new husband). I always find this a bit distracting as these people are their GoT characters to me (like “You know nothing, Jon Snow” Rose Leslie, who was in the movie Honeymoon that I really liked & reviewed last week). He was good in this, though, and not too distracting (aside from being sexy). At least Littlefinger wasn’t in this one like in the (fantastic) Sing Street… He’s in everything, dammit! Ugh. Now I’m totally off topic so I’ll shut up. I recommend this one although it’s a “one-time watch only” for me personally. I see no need to re-watch this once finding out what’s really going on but it was enjoyably tense with a decent story & good acting.

My Rating: 6.5/10

**Oh! This movie had a song I really like playing over the end credits. I actually discovered this song when I did a list of My Top Ten Devil & Hell Songs. It’s folk! Can’t say I like (or, more like that I even know) much folk but I think this song is great. Here’s Devil’s Spoke by Laura Marling. (This movie doesn’t involve Satan, though. Sorry – didn’t mean to throw you off by including this! Or DOES the movie involve Satan? Hmmmmm….) 😉

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My Top Ten Devil & Hell Songs

Oh, sweet Satan – you’ve been the inspiration for so many heavy metal bands!

Today I have not just one, not 666, but TWO Top Ten lists! One for each Devil horn!

\m/(>_<)\m/

When I started making this list, I only had Satan in mind. Then I thought “I think songs with the word Hell in the title can be included as well”. Turns out there are way too many to narrow it down to ten that way so I have one list of songs with “Devil” in the title and one for those with “Hell” in the title. (Although my number one doesn’t actually have “Devil” in the title but I do like to play by my own rules). 😉

As always, these are ranked according to how much I like the song.

Let’s start with My Top Ten Devil Songs:

10. Billy Talent – Devil In A Midnight Mass
9. Devil’s Spoke by Laura Marling
8. Devils Haircut by Beck
7. Devil Inside by INXS
6. Christmas With The Devil by Spinal Tap

5. The Devil Went Down To Georgia by The Charlie Daniels Band

4. Runnin’ With The Devil by Van Halen

3. Shout At The Devil by Mötley Crüe

2. Sympathy For The Devil by The Rolling Stones

1. The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden

Honorable Devil Mentions:
– Devil’s Child by Judas Priest
– (You’re The) Devil In Disguise by Elvis Presley
– Devil Gate Drive by Suzi Quatro
– Devil With A Blue Dress On by Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels
– Devil Woman by Cliff Richard
– Goddamn Devil by Ugly Kid Joe (Ha! Remember them? I’d forgotten about this song…)
– Grab The Devil By The Horns & Fuck Him Up The Ass by Sum 41 (it’s a title that I had to include)

Now it’s time to go to HELL… Here are My Top Ten Hell Songs:

10. TIE: Hell by Squirrel Nut Zippers & Hell by Foo Fighters
9. Catch Hell Blues by The White Stripes
8. Bat Out Of Hell by Meat Loaf
7. Run Like Hell by Pink Floyd
6. Green Hell by Misfits

5. Cowboys From Hell by Pantera

4. Straight To Hell by The Clash

3. Hell Bent For Leather by Judas Priest

2. Heaven And Hell by Black Sabbath

1. Highway To Hell by AC/DC (and Hells Bells, too!)

Honorable Hell Mentions:
– Go To Hell by Megadeth
– Hell Hole by Spinal Tap
– The Hell Song & Welcome To Hell by Sum 41 (what’s with them and Hell & Devil songs??)

Also, an honorable mention in general to Tenacious D’s Tribute since it’s about the Devil. Plus, Dave Grohl is the coolest Satan ever.

Here’s a quick thanks to Hard Ticket To Home Video’s Brian for recommending Black Sabbath’s Heaven And Hell back when I did a list of My Top Ten Black Sabbath Songs. Thanks, dude – I love it! And I especially love the other one (Children Of The Grave).

And there’s one on this list that I only heard for the first time yesterday but I thought it was pretty damn good considering it’s folk! It went straight into my top ten so thanks to my husband for suggesting I listen to Devil’s Spoke by Laura Marling. Here’s the video: