The mood is set when Will and Kira, on their way to a dinner in the Los Angeles hills, kill a deer with their car. That they were invited by Will’s ex-wife Eden and her new husband David doesn’t make it much easier, especially since they divorced two years ago after a traumatic event. Luckily their old friends also received an invitation; the couples Tommy and Miguel and Gina and Choi, who’s late as usual, and happy singles Ben and Claire. Conversation isn’t exactly sparkling, as they’ve seemed to have grown a bit apart. The atmosphere doesn’t improve when Sadie and Pruitt join the company. Eden and David got to know them in the therapy group where Eden tried to heal from the event that drove her and Will apart. The hours go by and Will is feeling more and more uneasy. There’s something particularly disturbing in the air, or is he just imagining things?

Karyn Kusama is one of the most talented female genre directors in America. She debuted with the raw and hard-hitting Girlfight (2000), followed by the big budget scifi epic Aeon Flux (2005) and the horror sensation Jennifer’s Body (2009). The Invitation, awarded by our sister festivals of Sitges, Neuchâtel and Strassbourg, is a genuine tour de force and a triumph of ensemble acting. Eighty minutes long Kusama feeds the audience with paranoia and tension simmering under the surface until the crushing finale which will leave you gasping for breath.

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