Wednesday, October 19, 2016
THE INVITATION (2016)
Directed By: Karyn Kusama
Written By: Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi
Cinematography By: Bobby Shore
Editor: Plummy Tucker
Cast: Logan Marshall- Green, Emayatzy Corinealdy, Tammy Blanchard, John Carroll-Lynch, Marieh Delfino, Michelle Kruseic, Toby Huss, Lindsay Burge, Aiden Lovekamp
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.
This is another film best to go into blind without knowing too much before you go in. For the best results.
Though we get a sense of what is going on to a degree. The film keeps you on your toes. The film still is surprising
The film offers a slow burn as it builds the tension. The film keeps up a strange off kilter vibe. While the film might take it's time at first it is never disappointing and never feels boring. The film has a certain calm and stays mannered that once the third act begins. It's truly captivating, it stays interesting and runs it's premise with an intensity later for all it's worth. Even with a hint of things to come.
The cast is diverse and I remember quite a few of these actors from television shows and other films. So it is a bit hard to accept them in their roles here. As partially the actors stay in your head in the role you were introduced to them in or at least the last time you saw them in something. Not to say that the performances aren't strong. It's just that at times they don't feel fully Lived in and are playing more types or ideas and don't necessarily act or behave as believable as you would expect someone in that situation to.
Though the casting of one actor in particular who plays a certain type of role helps tip the audience off to which way the film might go. The film seems to go out of it's way to try and explain away all the suspicions raised. While offering other new ones.
If anything the film plays it's cards a little too close to it's chest while having certain tells. Though it tries to use them to throw you off. As the film keep going there seems to be a rising conflict you always wonder, what roles the other characters play in all of this. On first viewing I was blown away by this film, but on subsequent viewings. It doesn't stand up as strong. So this is one of those films that might be best to watch once and let that feeling settle and be the one. It's a fun film to recommend and suggest. As it is something original in a field of the same.
This film is a nice comeback for Karyn Kusama and her frost really noteworthy film since GIRLFIGHT. Here you really see her talents and the promise her debut had finally come to fruition. Though I will admit to being partial to the promise that JENNIFER'S BODY had. The direction as well as the script shows what a skilled director can do with the Right premise and material as the film is relative and subtle. Never going over the top or exploitive. The film starts off smooth then delivers it's Kick.
It goes perfectly with a film that offers a similar vibe but different results named CONSCIENCE. Though that film feels a bit more playful. As this film plays so serious. Another film this film could fit in with is THE SOUND OF MY VOICE.
What works for the movie is that you can tell this is a movie that for the most part is meticulously designed. Nothing here feels random or left to chance.
So that while thrilling and surprising for us in the audience. It seems that the actions and characters. Are all moved around like chess pieces. Only the match isn't just to win as the match is more the type you play against a computer who has different modes and strategies set rather than playing by chance. There is a pattern.
Though the fact that the film offers a thrilling movie that doesn’t need action sequences or too many locations and very little if any chases. Something that is more mature but just as scary and questionable. The film engages and has fun throwing you off. So that it is playful. It's something you see rarely at the movies.
This is a film that has the confidence to make you stick around for the answers and not have to tip it's hand early or give you filler just to entice you to stay. Which is aimed at all audiences but prefers adults rather than to just be appealing to young people.