Netflix Pick of the Week: The Invitation

Between pre-existing issues and the mental toll of all things related to Covid-19, it became clear that I would need to work harder on improving the state of my mental health.  I was already working hard to improve my physical health – thankfully, being stuck at home has allowed me more time to work out and to cook healthy meals – so it was only natural to include some extra steps into my daily self-improvement routine.  Not only did my doctor change the dosage of my medication, but I have started doing mindfulness meditations as well.  So far, it is helping.  I hope that anyone else out there who is struggling will be able to figure out their own tricks for staying sane.  Take good care of yourselves.

It is only fitting that this week’s Netflix Pick deals with trauma and loss…

img_9662The Invitation directed by Karyn Kusama – Drama, Mystery, Thriller: Plagued by memories of his dead son, a man attends a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife. She seems to have moved on from the tragedy remarkably well, thanks to a supposed cult. This leads the man to suspect that there is something sinister about the dinner party.

Pros: It was a slow burn and, apart from one moment at the beginning, there was only violence/horror in the last half hour or so. The bulk of the film was so slow that I worried I would get bored, but it helped amplify any uneasy moments and enforced the gaslighting of the main character.

Cons: The minor twist at the end was initially amusing, but it also kind of took away from what the characters had just been through.  It was kind of a stretch that the whole neighbourhood was involved in the cult; it would have been more plausible if it was just the one house involved.

Final Thoughts: Between the pacing and the story structure, at times this felt more like an art film. And everything felt so weirdly calm, even during the stranger and more uneasy parts of the story, that it really kept me wondering how the story was going to end. Also, as someone who’s experienced it personally, the gaslighting stressed me out.

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