The Invitation (2022)
Director: Jessica M. Thompson
Screenplay: Blair Butler
Stars: Nathalie Emmanuel, Thomas Doherty, Sean Pertwee, Hugh Skinner and Scott Alexander Young
Tagline: You are cordially invited to a nightmare generations in the making.
“Evie” Jackson (Emmanuel) is a struggling artist who, after a DNA test, learns she has relatives in England. One of them, Oliver (Skinner) reaches out to Evie. They meet and hit it off. Oliver informs Evie that her great-grandmother had a secret child with one of the family’s African-American servants. It was quite the scandal at the time! Oliver invites Evie to attend an up-coming wedding in England – all expenses paid. Although hesitant at first, Evie accepts.
When Evie arrives at New Carfax Abbey, she meets Walter De Ville (Doherty) lord of the manor, and host of the wedding. Evie is shocked at the opulence on display, but has to admit she’s attracted to De Ville. It’s obvious he feels the same towards her. But something isn’t right. Everything feels a bit off. Evie will find out too late why.
Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…
I liked the slow buildup to the reveal the wedding. It’s not much of a spoiler to say that there are quite a few Dracula Easter eggs throughout the film – everything from character names to locations. If you’re not a Dracula fan and miss them, it won’t take away from the film. If you do recognize them, they should enhance your viewing.
Nathalie Emmanuel is best known for her role in Game of Thrones. I first saw her in Furious 7 and thought she had star power then. She’s excellent as Evie. I look forward to her future projects. Thomas Doherty is well cast as De Ville. I’d never see Doherty before. He has charisma and at times reminded me of a young Sean Connery. Perhaps he could be the next 007.
The Invitation begins with the feel of a love story, then morphs into psychological horror and ends as a pedal to the floor vampire flick. I liked it better than most so your mileage may vary. For me…
The Invitation earns 4 of 5 stars.