At this point in the game, the vampire genre has been exploited ad nauseam like no other in literature and cinema, with different treatments ranging from the romantic, terrifying, dramatic and even comical. However, within the vast offer that is available, there is a title that prevails as the maximum reference for its scathing narrative quality that, certainly, managed to consolidate the creatures of the night as the myth that they are today: dracula by Bram Stoker. The Irish author’s masterpiece did for vampires what Jaws did – 98% of Steven Spielberg did for the sharks, and Francis Ford Coppola’s film adaptation only came to enhance that, turning these icons of goth subculture into characters that are still prevalent in popular culture to this day. In Invitation to Hell – 16%, director Jessica M. Thompson reinterprets this story from the point of view of Dracula’s bride, entering territory that few have explored on the big screen.
We invite you to read: Emblematic characters of the gothic subculture in the cinema
The story, written by Thompson and Blair Butler (Hell Fest: Diabolical Games – 39%), follows Evie, a young woman who, after the death of her mother and left with no known relatives, takes a DNA test and discovers a distant cousin she never knew she had. Invited by her newly found new family to a lavish wedding in the English countryside, she soon finds herself seduced by the sexy aristocratic host, only to find herself embroiled in a survival nightmare as she uncovers the twisted secrets in her family’s history and the unspeakable intentions behind his sinful generosity. In the cast we can find Nathalie Emmanuel, Thomas Doherty, Alana Boden, Stephanie Corneliussen, Hugh Skinner, Sean Pertwee, among others.
The second feature film Thompson debuted to a high number of negative critics who had no qualms about calling this a job “generic”, “cliche” Y “little scary”. Soon we will tell you in detail what things are being said about this group that lacked fangs to pierce the viewer’s mind.
According to reviews, invitation to hell it’s little more than a visit to extremely familiar material in an uninspired way. Said to be a pastiche of infinitely better vampire stories, this work never lives up to its influences and aspirations. For the experts, half the responsibility falls on the script of Thompson Y Butler, full of generic situations that lack emotional or mythological weight to make the viewer get involved. In addition, the writing is ambitious, wanting to offer reflections on gender, race and class without saying anything substantive about them. As if that weren’t enough, the journalists found that the film loses control in the elements of teen romance that are interspersed between predictable horror interludes, making the final result feel unbalanced.
For critics, the direction of Thompson it fails to capitalize on its variety of ideas and elements effectively, rarely bringing them to life. Regardless, some reviews suggest that the film has its tense moments, and there are a couple of minor twists and turns that try to keep things interesting, but in the end this stuff isn’t as interesting or intriguing as its first act promised. If there’s any redeeming item worth watching for invitation to hell is the central action of Nathalie Emmanuelwhich proves to have the talent and dramatic range to sustain a project without head or tail.
Finally, Invitation to Hell – 16% is holy water, garlic and a stake through the heart to the vampire genre. The film is successful neither as a reinvention of a literary classic, nor as a playful addition to the modern gothic canon. The cast does everything possible to rescue this project from the darkness, but a hackneyed script, direction and execution end up sealing its coffin with the nails of oblivion.
Here is a compilation of Invitation to Hell reviews and reviews – 16%:
Also read: Dracula, by Bram Stoker, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, what did critics say about this classic?
Christy Lemire from rogerebert.com:
It seemed that Thompson had something interesting here. Instead, she revisits extremely familiar material in an uninspired way.
Joe Leydon of Variety:
Despite some ambitious efforts by director Jessica M. Thompson and screenwriter Blair Butler to reinvigorate old horror movie tropes with allegorical commentary on race, class and male privilege, “The Invitation” is too hackneyed for a while. much of its run time.
matt donato from IGN:
The Invitation is an unspectacular vampire story that bites the neck with excitement without taking any substantial bite. Jessica M. Thompson nails gothic melancholy and cult sophistication as vampirism becomes another metaphor for servitude, gender divisions, and oppression. However, she loses control in the elements of pre-teen romance that are interspersed between predictable horror interludes…
Austen Goslyn of polygonal:
…is a pastiche of infinitely better horror stories that never lives up to the hype. You can make vampires do just about anything in the movies, but The Invitation commits an unforgivable sin: making creatures of the night boring.
Jack Smart of The AV Club:
This sultry gothic tale lacks bite, but marks a solid debut for Nathalie Emmanuel.
Dominic Griffin of Looper:
Vampire movies deserve more than this. So do reflections on how gender, race, and class intersect with outdated oppressive systems. It’s a shame that everyone involved in “The Invitation” seemed so happy with whatever this is.
Alex Welch from Digital Trends:
…feels like a vampire movie that has contained its strengths. It may exist in the same genre as the movies it was influenced by, but it’s not sharp or effective enough on its own to draw blood.
Joe Friar of Fort Worth Report:
“The Invitation” plays it too safe. It’s not gripping enough to appeal to adults who like “True Blood” and it’s not gory enough for horror fans, and most of all it’s not scary, the CGI is solid, but we’ve seen it before.
George White of Cultured Vultures:
The Invitation falls short as a cheesy romance-thriller and outright supernatural horror. Delivering a vampire-based story would be one thing; adding an outdated romantic subplot to a creative and unexpected thriller would be another. Unfortunately, what this provides is the worst of both worlds.
Keith Noakes of Keith Loves Movies:
Invitation to Hell is an outdated horror thriller swamped by a boring, drawn-out derivative story, lackluster writing, and lifeless acting.
Don’t leave without reading: Dracula’s look at the movies