We are all aware that a cheep novel begins with: “It was a dark and stormy night.” The Invitation opens with a shot of dark stairway in a dimly light mansion as a storm rages outside filled with rain and lightening strikes. That scene may be the best scene in the film but it tells us not to expect much.
A genetic match brings Evie (Nathalie Emmanuel) to a beautiful but dark castle in Europe from which one of her ancestors came. One of her great great great grandmothers, a woman of color gave birth to a child fathered by the master of the house generations before a fact that was only revealed when the DNA review occurred.
The suicide of a young women early on gives us a clue that this is a dangerous evil place for Evie even though it is filled with opulence and wealth. But with that firm setting, Director Thompson fails in every attempt to bring fear to the script or to provide a little scare to the audience. This is a horror film that is a bland as can be.
The family secret is quite obvious to everyone except Evie who takes a while to figure that something is strange and bad in the house. At a dinner given the night before a wedding she learns of the blood ritual of the family. The script does not attempt to explain how the young servant women disappear and how their ranks are refilled. At the bloody dinner Evie learns she is to bride that is being celebrated.
The script is as transparent as a piece of clear glass, the master of the house (the guy she is suppose to marry) is a vampire.
Except for a scene where Nathalie Emmanuel wears a stunning red dress, The Invitation is a total failure. It is not frightening, it is dull and there are no surprises, Dracula would be embarrassed by this one.