The Invitation is a horror, thriller movie that was recently released on Netflix and caught the attention of many due to its star, Nathalie Emmanuel who created quite a stir in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones. It’s inspired by Bram Stoker’s classic ‘Dracula.’ The movie tells the story of Evelyn ‘Evie’ Jackson, a struggling artist in New York City who discovers dark secrets about her family after meeting long-lost relatives for the first time following her mother’s death.
The movie begins with Evie taking a DNA test that leads her to a distant cousin, Oliver Alexander, in England. He reveals to her the scandalous past of her great-grandmother, Emmaline, and invites her to a family wedding in England. Once there, at the New Carfax Abbey, Evie starts to notice unsettling occurrences and begins to uncover the truth behind her family’s dark secrets.
One of the strongest aspects of the movie is the acting by Emmanuel, who portrays a common New Yorker suddenly thrown into a wealthy British family. Her performance adds depth to the character, and she manages to shine. You could very well say her portrayal of Evie as a strong, bold, and beautiful woman while being the only colored member in a white family is a highlight of the movie. She effectively conveys the character’s emotions and reactions to the events unfolding around her.
Other notable aspects of the movie are the cinematography and lighting. The movie switches between the colorful New York City and the somber English countryside and the darkness of the characters and the setting are well captured through the camera and lighting. The movie’s use of lighting is particularly effective in creating a sense of unease and suspense, as the audience is left wondering what horrors will be revealed next.
The use of lighting has also helped in creating a sense of isolation, as the audience is left to wonder about the fate of the characters in the eerie and remote setting of the New Carfax Abbey. However, the storytelling in the movie isn’t particularly noteworthy. The plot is similar to many other horror thrillers and it’s only at the end that the horrors of the house are revealed, leaving the audience anxiously waiting for a ghost or demon to appear. This can make the movie feel slow and predictable at times. Furthermore, the audience is not given much background on the characters, and the motivations of the characters aren’t always clear.
Despite these shortcomings, The Invitation is still an enjoyable horror thriller for fans of the genre. The acting, especially Emmanuel’s performance, and the cinematography and lighting make up for all that’s lacking in the movie. The movie’s use of lighting is particularly effective in creating a sense of unease and suspense. The movie is not likely to become a cult classic, but it’s still fun while it lasts. I’d say it’s a good way to kill some time and get your horror fix.
Who should watch it?
The Invitation is an average horror thriller movie that only fans of the genre will enjoy. The acting, especially Emmanuel’s performance, and the cinematography and lighting are the highlights of the movie. The themes explored in the movie add a deeper layer of meaning to the story, making it more than just another horror movie.
Rating: 2.5 stars
Run time: 1hr 45mins
Actors: Nathalie Emmanuel, Thomas Doherty, Sean Pertwee
Director: Jessica M. Thompson