Full Disclosure: The Invitation is a Drafthouse Films title, which means we won't be running a traditional review of the film here at Birth.Movies.Death. (it's about ethics). What we can do, however, is urge you to see the film before some loudmouth on Twitter spoils it for you.
Karyn Kusama's The Invitation was a huge hit at last year's Fantastic Fest, one of the titles people kept telling me I really needed to check out. I believed them and wanted very badly to do so, but you know how Fantastic Fest goes: somewhere in between the steady stream of beer, the karaoke, a punishing sleep schedule, and an already-overstuffed "Must See" list, I failed to heed their advice. The Invitation slipped through the cracks, and I was forced to wait.
Here are my thoughts upon catching up with Kusama's film last week: one, I absolutely fucked up by not making The Invitation a priority back in September; and two, I cannot believe I didn't have The Invitation spoiled for me between then and now.
Look: The Invitation is a meticulously-crafted film. It ratchets up the tension from its very first frame, and doesn't let up until...well, until the movie's over, honestly (and even then it'll leave you feeling rattled). Thrillers this clever and well-executed do not come along very often, so when they do, I think it's important that we allow our fellow moviegoers to experience them as blindly as we did. It's not that Kusama's film delivers a blindsider of a twist in the third act; it's that knowing any of the film's beats in advance would rob the film of its power.
And it is powerful. This is one of the most intense films I've seen in a long time, right up there with Jeremy Saulnier's Green Room (another Fantastic Fest favorite that's opening this month) and Robert Eggers' The Witch. If you're a fan of tightly-wound, paranoid conspiracy thrillers, believe me when I say that The Invitation will light your ass up.
Anyway, this is the kind of movie people are going to want to talk about after they've seen it. They're going to have QUESTIONS and THINGS TO SAY ABOUT ALL THAT, and once they hit social media there's probably going to be no stopping them. Do not let one of these loudmouths impact your first viewing of a truly outstanding film. Avoid conversations about The Invitation until you've seen it, mute anyone on Twitter who seems like they're being a little too generous with details, and - above all else - make a point to see Kusama's film soon. You will not regret it.
The Invitation hits select theaters this weekend and is currently available via VOD. See it immediately.