Photo by Ankhesenamun on Unsplash
*Content Warning: This article mentions scenes of violence*
The Invitation is a film that invites the audience into the world of vampires. The film has a very interesting plot with the lead protagonist, Evie, believing she found long lost family members. The family comes from old money which really helps set the stage for this story to unfold.
England and vampires, what other classical stops can you pull out?
The writers knew how to play with the audience’s heart strings to help everyone overlook the main warning sign that almost all horror movies have. In this film, it was a stranger contacting Evie claiming to be her cousin wanting her to travel to England to visit family she never knew of. The combination of Evie’s mother’s recent passing and her lack of any real family made a bad idea seem like a good one.
The first half of the film does a good job of keeping the suspense of the family’s dark secret hidden. With scenes of maids being attacked by an unknown creature, the audience is left wondering and on edge. These scenes were a good way to keep the audience curious but didn’t provide enough information to spoil anything.
In the end, it is discovered that Evie was needed because of who her ancestors were. With her blood, Walter and his two other vampire wives could live for all of eternity. This film would have fared much better if it was a romance rather than a horror. The film had a couple of interesting horror scenes with maids being attacked and vanishing in wine cellars and libraries. But the subplot of the romance between Evie and Walter was where most of the audience’s attention was. There was much potential for the story idea in this film, and although it had many cool scenes the plot could have been much more engaging to the audience if it stuck with one genre and focused on developing the story from one particular angle.
One thing that would have been interesting to include, would be flashbacks to memories between Walter’s two wives and their friendship. Throughout the film, their relationship is presented to be one of tolerance and dislike. It isn’t until they both die at the hands of the other that the audience learns that the two women really did love each other in their own complicated way.
If the film wasn’t labelled as a thriller, the horror scenes could have been replaced with memories or flashbacks to enrich the backstories and relationships between the characters. The love story between Evie and Walter was very rushed. With more time, the creative team could have added more symbolism in their scenes to make the audience more conflicted and engaged in their relationship.
This film had an original plot and was enjoyable to watch. But it could have benefited greatly if it were a dark romance film instead of a thriller.