Monday, July 11, 2016

LA Paranoia

The Invitation (2015) - Kusama
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As far as the paranoia thriller goes, The Invitation makes the grade. Will (Logan Marshall-Green) with his girlfriend (Emayatsy Corinealdi) are on their way to a dinner party thrown by his ex, Eden (Tammy Blanchard) and her husband David. It's a reunion of sort with close friends who lost touch with one another over the years. The dinner party is all polite and cordial and stuff. There are two strangers who are present at the party too - a wild girl Sadie (Lindsay Burdge) and Pruitt (John Caroll Lynch, doing his usual creepy serial killer type), the recent acquisition by Eden and David. They met in Mexico and are following some sort of religious group. The dinner party is hampered by David showing everyone about a video of a dying woman surrounded by other members of the group, saying death is a natural thing and whatnot. Will, already on-edge about the whole dinner party with his ex whose child they shared died in some freak accident, questions David and Eden's weird motives - locking the doors, metal grate on windows and such. Then Pruitt tells a horrible story of him killing his wife and spending time in jail. At this point, party is really awkward and uncomfortable. But time and time again, Will is proven to be wrong (the door's locked and windows shuttered windows because of recent home invasion of the neighbors) and his doubts and outbursts were seen as him being completely out of the line.

Kusama does a great job building tension throughout the film. It seems that loss of a child is the basis of vast majority of horror movies or clutch for some melodrama these days (let's see...what could be the most traumatic thing that can happen to a grown up? Death of an offspring!!). So Will and Eden suffer from the pain and guilt of losing their son and whatnot but they are trying to get over that in their own way or whathaveyou. But the film's yet another sinister take on the city of Angels, a cautionary tale that can be grouped with Mulholland Dr, Starry Eyes and the recent Refn flick, Neon Demon. The Invitation is a thoroughly enjoyable ride.

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