‘The Invitation’: racist, sexist and classist vampires who want to be part of your family

It opens in theaters this weekend. The Invitationa horror film directed by Jessica M Thompsonwhich shares a title with another great horror film directed by another director in 2015. Be careful, do not confuse them.

Meanwhile in The Invitation of 2015, the director karyn kusama introduced us and surprised us with a genuine horror story that became the best of the year and even won the award for best film at the Sitges Film Festivalthis new The Invitation from 2022 is still a conventional horror film to pass the time.

For the record, I don’t mean hanging out in a derogatory way. The movie is very entertaining. it is visible and it is not heavy on you.

Starring Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei in Game of Thrones), it can remind us of other recent films of the genre, such as the best film of jordan peele, Let me out (2017) or the funny and bloody one, Wedding night (2019). From the first he shares an argument against the racism and classism by placing a black, middle-class lead character alongside a filthy-rich, white family. Of the second, the fact that its protagonist must leave alive the disturbing medieval traditions of that money-ridden family.

Nathalie Emmanuel is Evie in The Invitation (2022).

The Invitation: turning Cinderella into a horror story

Jessica M. Thompson’s film tells the story of Evie (Nathalie Emmanuel), an artist from New York who has to work as a waitress to survivelike so many others.

His mother died of cancer and he has no more family left. Or so he thought, since a DNA test is done and a rich English cousin contacts her to meet her. They meet at a nice restaurant and quickly become friends. So much so that he invites her to a wedding in the UK.

Evie doubts, but how His new Caucasian family pays for all kinds of expenses that might arise from the invitation, finally decides to go to the wedding.

Once there, you will be impressed by the luxurious mansion in which you will stay and the wedding will take place. But will be even more impressed by Walter (Thomas Doherty)the attractive owner of the mansion.

Eve and Walter.  The invitation.
Eve and Walter. The Invitation.

She cannot believe that her English family has so much money and that they treat and accept her so well. She feels like a queen, and except for her chief butler, everyone treats her like that. But not everything was going to go off without a hitch, right? That mansion hides more than one secret and some other terrible event.

The library has been forbidden to enter, there are some strange little bells with which to call the servants and since he has slept in that house, have terrifying nightmares. Was she right in accepting the invitation to the wedding?

Vampires and ghosts of all life

The Invitation It starts with a brutal scene. From that moment it keeps us interested in what is going to happen. It introduces us to its protagonist, correctly played by Nathalie Emmanuel, and invites us to a wedding where nothing is what it seems. There will emerge a romantic love story between Evie and Walter that will hook us like nooks and crannies. But we already know that in this type of film there is a moment when everything changes. That moment is essential. Either the movie or the grave lifts you up. we all wait that script twist that leaves us with a crooked ass and in this case, it has to do with vampires.

It wasn’t a bad idea, the problem is the type of vampires he uses, those of a lifetime. Of the boring ones that no longer surprise anyone. Of those whose fangs no longer scare. Old-fashioned. Of those who have three girlfriends or more. Those who never surpass the incarnations that we were able to enjoy in the dracula of Coppola or Interview with the Vampire by Neil Jordan. The last good approach to that type of vampires was in Byzantium also by Neil Jordan.

One of the posters from The Invitation.
One of the posters The Invitation.

The Invitation does not take itself seriously in that sense, nor does it pretend innovate in the vampire genre. He even gives himself the pleasure of including celebrities in the film Mina and Jonathan Parker of Bram Stoker in a rather funny situation.

The same thing happens with ghosts, they are nothing more than a resource. The typical shadow scares and others that are usually accompanied by a dramatic sound to wake us up from the armchair.

The Invitation: a missed opportunity

It’s a shame that Jessica M. Thompson missed out on giving us a better horror movie, a better vampire movie, or a better film that denounces the racism and classism that the black race still suffers in this xenophobic, capitalist and increasingly antiquated society.

The Invitation It is a film with normative protagonists, far removed from the reality it denounces. It stays on the surface of whatever claim it tries to make in that regard. Just like he just walks around terror. She brushes against him, but at no point does she hug him. As I was saying, a pity that it does not look more like that wonderful The Invitation from 2015.

furious greetings

‘The Invitation’: racist, sexist and classist vampires who want to be part of your family – Las Furias Magazine – Revista Cultural y Feminista