‘The Invitation’ takes a bite on Rotten Tomatoes

Rebekah Corral, Opinion Writer

Photo from the film.

I was interested in seeing the movie “The Invitation.” The trailer made the film appear mysterious, possibly, a supernatural murder mystery. It came across as dark similar to “Crimson Peak” or the 2016 suspense thriller also titled “The Invitation.” Honestly, the vagueness of the trailer only led me to fill in the blanks with the best possible scenarios. Critics gave this movie 26% and a 60% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. 

This movie centers on the concept of a modern-day vampire and his three brides, which is drawn from the 1897 novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, where he has three similar women living in his castle. If anyone is looking for a genuinely terrifying and layered portrait of Dracula, Gary Oldman in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 film “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” is as scary as it gets. Oldman draws from the original Max Schreck who gave one hell of a performance in the 1922 silent German expressionist film “Nosferatu.” 

I don’t know how I missed the hints that this was a vampire movie. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good, cheesy vampire movie; it’s a weakness. This movie, though, laid it on thick with the handsome, wealthy vampire seducing the young girl.  

It is clear from the moment the male leads steps onto the scene that there is no doubt he is up to no good. I thought they would make the girl clever enough to know something’s out of the ordinary, but no, she takes his pathetic excuses. She later catches him with a dossier on her, including her entire life and criminal history.  

I have no clue as to why they had to make her have a criminal record. They initially develop the female lead character as a struggling artist devoted to her work. Yet when questioned about her actual life goals by this guy, she ditches the persona and chooses to admit that her one true purpose in life is to be spontaneous and throw caution to the wind. 

Let’s not even get into the problematic characterization this movie makes of women in low economic classes. The main male character gives a lot of typical compliments. There was even the cliché scene where he picked out an expensive dress for her to wear to dinner. She, of course, is thrilled by what is an outdated and overused trope.  

In a world where all these amazing portrayals of Dracula exist, “The Invitation” looks like a transparent reflection lacking the horror, love, or imagination that makes this type of character so entertaining to watch.  

So, when it comes to “The Invitation”, I give it a sad 1.5/10 rating. Don’t waste your time.