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The Invitation Movie Review: A modern-age blood gothic tale

The Invitation is a modern day blood-soaked horror thriller set in the vast mysterious lands of an English mansion in the country.

The Invitation Movie Review A modern-age blood gothic tale
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The Invitation is a blood-soaked horror thriller set in the vast mysterious lands of an English mansion in the country. The movie is a modern-day take on Bram Stoker’s gothic novel ‘’Dracula’’ (1897) and is set to release next month on 23 Sept in the Indian theatres. The Invitation brings out a classic story with a modern-day flair. 

The Invitation Cast 

The movie stars Nathalie Emmanuel, Thomas Doherty, Stephanie Corneliussen, Hugh Skinner, Alana Boden, Sean Pertwee, Garrett Hedlund, Virág Bárány, Elizabeth Counsell, Jeremy Wheeler, Scott Alexander Young, Kata Sarbo, Christine Grace Szarko, and Courtney Taylor. 

The Invitation is directed by Jessica M. Thompson and written by her alongside Blair Butler. The runtime is 104 minutes, not too much or not too lessjust enough to keep things fresh and entertaining.


Evelyn (Nathalie Emmanuel) or Evie as she likes to be called, is a young Newyorker who struggles to make ends meet and works as a waitress. We quickly learn that she is grieving the loss of her mother and her financial distress meddles with her passion for being a ceramist.

Evie feels very alone as an orphan with no known family left but everything changes when she helps herself to a swag bag from a DNA Event and discovers her bag of goodies had a DNA test. Eager to find out about the family roots she decides to take up the very test. Turns out she has got a bunch of British cousins in her bloodline. This leads to a brief course of ill-fated events. 

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The Invitation Movie Review A modern-age blood gothic tale
Image Credits: Google Play

Evie is contacted by her second cousin Oliver Alexander (Hugh Skinner) who is visiting NewYork for some business. When both the cousins meet, Oliver insists she takes up the all-expenses paid trip offered by him to attend an extravagant wedding and also meet the other newly discovered relatives, as they are dying to meet her.

Evie has her obvious doubts and is sceptical but her curiosity wins and the next thing we know she has made up her mind and wants to join the family function. Little does she know that something very dark and deeply sinister is waiting for her.

The Invitation Review

The movie starts off with a haunting promise to deliver slow burn to the characters which is very engaging and helps to establish the atmosphere of a horror story. The second shift slips on a sinister family legacy. The theme prominently runs with an unsettling atmosphere throughout the movie.

Although the plot is heavily predictable, it is still delightful to watch. I like the fact that we feel the same unease that Evie is feeling. Most of the movie focuses on establishing the characters & when the climax arrives the story felt a little rushed. 

The Invitation Movie Review A modern-age blood gothic tale
Image Credits:

The visuals particularly stand out in a striking way for being creepy and beautiful at the same time. A majority of the film takes place in the house, the manor is nothing short of a masterpiece itself. The music is beautiful and fits the story well. The special effects look great. 

Cast Performances

The chemistry between Evie & Thomas had an edge to it. Evie is naturally amazing and free-spirited, and Thomas on the other hand is consumingly charismatic in his role. Supporting actors did a fine job of bringing out the best of their characters, no one seemed out of place and were brilliant. The sense of terror with dark disturbing shadows and a talented cast makes this movie a must-watch.

Sources: Rogerebert, Variety and Nytimes

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Written By

Harjyot Sandhu is an Entertainment & Arts Intern at Empire Weekly. She was born and raised in Mumbai, and recently graduated with Bachelor's degree in Mass Media & Communications. She is an avid geek when it comes to contemporary media and her core interests lie within the entertainment and fitness industry. Harjyot enjoys the ever-changing pace of the world & human evolution.

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