Los Angeles (USA), Aug 22 (EFE).- An African-American woman in search of her roots, a bloodthirsty aristocratic family of vampires and a powerful game of seduction are the main attractions of “The Invitation”, the latest bet from Sony Pictures in the genres of suspense and horror that opens this Friday.
A film directed by Australian Jessica M. Thompson (“The Light of the Moon”), which will have the difficult task of coming out on top in the face of the inevitable comparison with “The Invitation” (2015), the film of the same name by Karyn Kusama, which It achieved great acceptance among the most passionate fans of the fusion between thriller and horror.
“It is a gothic thriller, and this is what makes it different, but it has a lot of horror film that is cooked over a slow fire,” Thompson acknowledged in an interview with Efe in the days prior to the release.
To try to meet expectations, Thompson’s film has in its cast two of the most popular British actors today: Nathalie Emmanuel (“Game of Thrones”) and Thomas Doherty (“Gossip Girl”).
Emmanuel plays Evie, a young woman living in New York who, after the death of her mother and with no other known relatives, decides to undergo a DNA test that leads her to a wealthy relative.
Oliver Alexander III is the name of this second cousin of Evie, who invites her to a wedding in a luxurious gothic mansion located in the English countryside to meet his new family.
What begins as a dream for the girl ends up turning into a relentless fight for her survival against the perverse plan of Walter, a young aristocrat who acts as a host and tries to use his attractiveness to seduce her.
“She is a woman who accepts challenges, knows her worth and is intelligent; a modern girl who has had to fight a lot in her life, ”Emmanuel explained to Efe about her role in the film.
While, as Doherty described Walter for Efe, his character is “a narcissist, sociopath and morally corrupt who seeks the acceptance of others to control people.”
Under Doherty’s penetrating gaze, both he and Emmanuel play a powerful game of sensuality that tries to captivate the viewer in the first part of the film.
“Opposites attract each other”, joked Emmanuel, who stated that he appreciated “the understanding and ease” provided by Doherty to film the most intimate shots they took.
On the other hand, the production makes use of different references to the famous novel “Dracula” (1897) and even uses the name of Harker (after Jonathan Harker, protagonist of the Bram Stoker book) for one of its characters.
“It’s a modern version inspired by “Dracula”, but told in a unique way through Evie, who is trying to find a connection with someone in her family,” said Thompson, who mentioned the film “Cronos” (1993), from Guillermo del Toro, as one of his greatest inspirations when directing “The Invitation”.
This film began development in 2020, was shot over forty days in a rural setting in Hungary, and has required up to six months of editing.
And it is that the visual design, another of the most outstanding sections of the film, was one of the “most important” aspects for Thompson when it came to achieving “the expected result”.
“We wanted to create a big contrast between Evie’s world and Walter’s, and between gothic and modern. For this, it was decided to enhance the play of colors, lights and textures”, declared the filmmaker.
In addition, “The Invitation” is produced by Emile Gladstone, who played this same role in one of the most recognized horror works of recent years: “The Curse of La Llorona” (2019).
The script is in charge of Blair Butler, while Michael P. Flannigan and Jessica M. Thompson herself are in charge of the executive production of this 104-minute film.
The rest of the cast is made up of Stephanie Corneliussen (“Mr. Robot”), Alana Boden (“Uncharted”), Courtney Taylor (“Boyhood”), Hugh Skinner (“Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi”) and Sean Pertwee (“Gotham”).
The film, which has already had some negative reviews on the internet because the trailer reveals “too many details” about the plot, will have to face productions like “Samaritan” at the box office this weekend, the new film starring Sylvester Stallone. EFE