31 Days of Fear: The Invitation


A Feast of Friends

by Brody Rossiter


When Will is invited to a dinner party at his ex-wife’s home, his hesitation to confront the tragedy of his former life quickly becomes a dramatic and suspenseful evening of fine wine and bad intentions.

Following the death of their young son, Will (Logan Marshall-Green) and Eden’s marriage quickly collapsed beneath the weight of the couple’s grief. Eden (Tammy Blanchard) cut ties with her husband and former friends, remarried, yet chose to remain in the plush Hollywood Hills home she shared with Will and their bereaved son Aiden.

Beautifully conceived by Director Karyn Kusama and Cinematographer Bobby Shore, the sultry candlelit aesthetic of the picture is a feast for the eyes. Elegant and robust in terms of both its shadowy visuals and diverse character-driven performances, the attractive imagery on the surface contrasts an increasingly tense and volatile undercurrent of paranoia.

Will’s suspicions quickly begin to grow regarding the true intentions of his former lover and her new partner David – Michiel Huisman turns in a brilliantly self-involved and pontifical turn as the handsome music exec. Is Will still stricken by the guilt of his son’s passing? Or is Eden hosting a gathering that will prove deadly for those in attendance?

The emergence of wild-eyed and partially dressed housemate Sadie, signals that all is most definitely not right, and the household begins to resemble that of a fevered cult as opposed to a happy and healthy home. As more guests arrive, or fail to arrive, Will’s gut instincts to flee are overridden by his intention to show his acceptance of his ex’s new life to his girlfriend and friends.

Writers Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi have plotted a wonderfully unnerving evening of small-talk and high-tension. Slow-burning and increasingly surreal, the film reveals its true character during its final quarter, presenting a highly memorable and revelatory final course. Pull up a chair at this wonderfully arranged table and dine upon a unique and satisfying serving of contemporary horror.

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