Dear Reader, you are cordially invited to this spooky scary post where we discuss the sexy (but also scary, don’t forget that part) film The Invitation. It’s not the first time we’ve invited you to a vampire spookfest, but this is definitely for sure in the top ten sexiest of those vampire scarapaloozas we’ve watched. I mean, come on… Twilight? Ever heard of it? Queen of the Damned is sexy, I think. Vampire Academy, Priest, Vampire in Brooklyn, Dracula 2000… once we get to the Underworld franchise we’ll be swimming in sexy, so… top twenty. At least the top twenty sexiest of the vampire films we’ll watch for BMT. So RSVP like your life depends on it… because it just might. Bwahahahaha.
To recap, Evie is working hard as a caterer trying to make ends meet. She lost her Mom a while back and feels lost. It’s all about fambly, as Vinny D would say. Oh ho, what’s this? She happens to be catering a function for a DNA sequencing company and the swag bag contains a test that will help you connect with unknown fambly? How fortunate for the plot of this film. That’s because she does it and immediately matches up with a snobby rich guy from England who is a little too thrilled to meet her. He invites her to London for a wedding and she accepts, obviously. Upon arriving she meets what appears to be an unbearably rich count (who is also super hot and steamy). Count Steamy is embarrassed by his actions and spends the next half of the movie trying to woo her. He’s quite successful at it. He’s also quite successful at eating the wedding staff cause, you guessed it, he’s a sexy vampire. Just when things are heating up he really throws cold water on the whole affair by revealing that A) he’s a vamp. B) that the wedding she’s attending is actually between him and her. C) being his wife requires the general murder and eating of people. She’s not into that (no matter how steamy he is) and tries to escape. Ultimately Count Steamy is too powerful and she is turned into his bride/a vampire. But with her new super vamp powers she turns the tables on him and burns the whole thing to the ground. Later we see her going full vampire hunter and taking out all the bad vampire-loving richie riches. Sequel anyone? THE END.
The concept of this film is good. The DNA matching angle is clever (although the setup is strained) and then when things get weird I feel like it hit a stride that I enjoyed. Unfortunately there is a whole 45 minute middle part of the film that seems convinced that it’s the next Twilight or something. Or like the creator wanted to make Get Out (but with vampires) and the studio was like “juuuust a bit more sexy though. Get Out is kind of sexy, right?” and it’s like what? It went on so long that I started to wonder whether I was crazy and the film was actually going to turn out to be Twilight and the vampire was actually good (and sexy). But he wasn’t, so I’m not sure what the purpose of all the sexy stuff really was. I wish it got weird quicker and then stayed weird longer. As it is they had a very fun scene that was quickly followed by the vampire getting totally roasted. Very mixed. Could have been good, but not really bad.
Hot Take Clam Bake! Do it! Do it, Evie. Did being a vampire seem all that bad? Hear me out. You get a forever fambly. That’s pretty good. In fact, it seems like everything you ever wanted. Not enough? How about immortality? Ever heard of it? If a fambly and immortality isn’t enough let me go right for the pocketbook. And not just yours, either. Sure you’re rich, but think of all those villagers that rely on Count Steamy for their day to day livelihood. Jobs, Evie. J-O-B-S. Do you hate jobs? Do you hate the economy? Just cause you can’t stomach drinking a little blood here and there you want to put everyone in this village out of a job. Disgusting. You disgust me. Hot Take Temperature: Charleston Hot.
‘Ello everyone! The Invitation? More like I Think I’m Busy That Night, amirite? Dracula is back jack! And this time he’s reimagined. Let’s go!
- The core story here is actually uh … kind of good? I love the idea that this is a modern film that posits that the events of Dracula were inverted. Dracula won, married Lucy, and he now basically runs a cult in England / Romania and is living forever. That’s a cool story. Even the prequel would have been a cool story.
- The beginning of the film gives me whiffs of Get Out and it was pretty disappointing that the friend, Grace, didn’t show up again as a foil to the overly serious Dracula story.
- Which I guess is an issue. I can’t decide if the story is better as a serious alternate Dracula story (complete with reveal), or if it is better as a half-tongue-in-cheek story that partially plays off of current social issues and stuff.
- Ultimately the overly serious tone falls apart a bit because the acting outside of Evie is juuuuuuuust a bit overwrought. Walter in particular looks and acts like a fake person. Like they created him in an AI simulation as the epitome of British poshness. Similarly Oliver feels more like a British trope than an actual British person.
- The twist, if that is what you can even call it, while interesting, feels weak and undercooked. I wish the horror interludes throughout with the gross looking vampires didn’t exist either. In the end they went all in with horror and, in my opinion, it blew up in their face.
- Here’s my pitch. Evie and her friend are invited to England for a wedding. They show up and things are going very well, albeit there are every so often weirdo bits that they shrug off as things lost in translation as they are American. Being caterers (i.e. “the help”) they hang with the maids, but they keep on disappearing. That’s weird, but the maids don’t really know what is up, and Evie and Grace are having fun so whatever. Meanwhile there is a straight-from-Jane-Austin romance happening between Evie and Walter which is very sexy. Suddenly in the third act at the big wedding dinner things just go off the rails. Grace is “killed” and Evie wed to Walter and the horror of all of the events are fully revealed. Everything is now very very not-sexy. But at the last second Grace reappears alive as a full blown vampire hunter, and they start taking everyone out. The whole thing is Dracula and the woman who killed herself in the beginning is Lucy from the book. In my version Lucy and Evie and Dracula’s original wife all look identical and that is part of Dracula’s twisted immortality: destined (and cursed) love. The End.
- But I liked the movie more than I would have expected.
- Definitely a Setting as a Character (Where?) for jolly ol’ England. And I’ll toss out a Worst Twist (How?) for the ultimate reveal that Walter is, in fact, the actual Dracula from the book. I think this is closest to Good.
Read about the sequel, The Invitation 2: Dracula Reborn in the Quiz. Cheerios,