“The Invitation” is directed by Jessica Thompson and written by Blair Butler. Nathalie Emmanuel and Thomas Doherty star in the roles of Evie and Walter De Ville, respectively. The narrative is set in a familiar landscape of blood-sucking vampires, though you just hope it does not add to the array of forgettable films that fail to bring anything substantial to the plate.
‘The Invitation’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
The opening sequence of “The Invitation” takes us inside a huge mansion. In the darkness of the night, we saw eerie sculptures and an archaic staircase that led to a room on the first floor. An unknown man walks towards the room and asks the woman inside to have some food, as she probably hasn’t had anything for the past few days. The woman said that she couldn’t do it anymore and that she was extremely tired. Suddenly, she pushed the man aside and tried to make an escape. She had lost all hope, and she made a decision to end her life. She believed that with her death, the horrors would end once and for all. She tied a wire around her neck and hung herself from the mansion itself.
“The Invitation” then shifts to a much brighter setting, and we are introduced to Evie, who was working as a waitress in a conclave where the 10th anniversary of a business initiative named “Unlock Your Past” was being celebrated. It was basically an online portal named “Find Yourself” that analyzed the DNA samples of an individual and then found their family members and helped them connect with them. Evie’s friend, Grace, had secretly grabbed one of the hampers that were being given to the guests. It had a bottle of wine and a DNA testing tool kit too. Later, just for the sake of it, Evie went to the website and uploaded her DNA samples. The test results came in, and surprisingly, there was a match. A guy named Oliver L. Alexander III was her second cousin. He had sent her a message. He hailed from England and was going to be in New York later that week. He wanted to catch up with his long-lost American cousin. Evie, though, was still not prepared to meet with an apparent family member, whom she had never heard of in her entire life. After her mother had passed, Evie always craved a sense of belonging. She had nobody whom she could call her family, and so, she decided to meet her English cousin. Her friend, though, was skeptical about it. Grace told her that meeting a stranger off the internet is not something she would advise her to do. But Evie wanted to take the chance as she wanted to cherish that family bond.
Oliver was extremely polite, hospitable, and, by the looks of it, belonged to an extremely well-to-do family. He tells Evie that she was a part of the great family scandal. Emmaline Alexander, the great-grandmother of Evie, had an illicit relationship with a footman. The fact was revealed just before Emmaline’s wedding, in the year 1925, when she was pregnant. The footman left the village and raised the baby on his own. In his excitement, Oliver had told his entire joint family about Evie. He invited her to a family wedding that was supposed to happen in a few days. Evie was skeptical about it. Things were progressing very quickly. She didn’t know anything about Olivar or his family. But he urged her to come. After a point of time, Evie also thought that it couldn’t be so bad and that it was worth giving it a shot. She still harbored a hope that she would find somebody whom she could call family. He took her to the mansion of the De Ville family, situated on the outskirts of the city. Evie couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the huge mansion. She accidentally bumped into two maids, Diya and Imogen, who were carrying a box of glasses. The glasses fell on the floor, and the head butler, Mr. Fields, arrived at the scene. He spoke to the maids and even to Evie very rudely. Evie had worked as a waitress too, and she knew that the girls had not done anything wrong to be treated in this manner. Walter De Ville, Lord of the Manor, arrived at the opportune moment and mitigated the matter. He told Mr. Fields to calm down and revealed to him the real identity of the guest. Mr. Field apologized and went away. Evie was somewhat smitten by the charming Lord. We realize that it was the same mansion that we saw in the first scene of “The Invitation,” where the unknown woman had hanged herself. Evie was taken inside her room, and she was mesmerized by the grandiosity of opulence. A maid named Mrs. Smith was appointed for Evie, and she couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of events. A couple of days back, she was working as a waitress, and now she had a maid to herself. Evie’s attention is drawn towards a portrait, which Mrs. Smith tells her was the former lady of the house. There was sadness on the face of the woman in the portrait, making it seem like she didn’t want to be there. There was something not right in the house. In the night, Evie saw that Mr. Fields had lined up all the maids and was allocating them work. Just then, Mrs. Smith came and told Evie to go back to her room, as it was not safe to roam around in the night. Martin, too, came to check on Evie. He apologized for the behavior of his butler and showed a lot of interest in Evie. She couldn’t absorb the fact that she could be related to such a royal family. She felt overwhelmed, but then she reassured herself that she always had the option of leaving, if things didn’t go her way or if she didn’t enjoy her stay.
‘The Invitation’ Ending Explained: What Was The Real Motive Of Oliver? Was Evie Able To Escape?
Evie finally met the whole family. Great Grand Uncle Alfred got way too emotional after meeting her. Evie felt nice to be welcomed in such a warm manner, though she still didn’t feel that she belonged there. Mr. Fields asked the maids, who had met Evie earlier, to go to the wine cellar and take out a bottle of the precious 1897 Vino Cruor. Diya, the one who had a brief conversation with Evie, was taken by an unknown supernatural creature. It felt as if Mr. Fields had served the maids, on purpose, to a beast that existed in the cellar. Evie, too, felt an eerie presence but ignored it time and again. Walter was flirting with her in an unrestrained manner. He let the lady know through his actions that he was too much interested in her. Staying at the New Carfax Abbey (an indication that makes the identity of the hosts pretty clear) meant constantly attending parties, dinners, and social gatherings. At one such dinner, Evie is made to feel quite special when the Butler, Mr. Fields, announces her name when she is making an entry. Evie met Viktoria Klopstock and Lucy Billington, the maids of honor. Viktoria had very cold behavior towards Evie. It was as if she was constantly trying to demean her. Lucy, on the other hand, was very warm and very welcoming and made sure that Evie knew that she liked her. Later that night, too, Evie felt the presence of something supernatural in her room. Walter came as soon as he heard her screaming. He calmed her down and told her that it was probably the big mansion and the change of space that was causing the hallucinations. That night, Mrs. Smith was about to disclose something to her, but Walter came and interrupted her. Evie later found a hard copy of her Facebook profile page and her test results from the “Find Yourself” website lying on the desk of Walter. She felt that he was vetting her and had pretended that he didn’t know anything about her, all this while. But Walter assured her that he never intended to vet her. He says that he just wanted to be a bit cautious and know the background of this unknown American cousin who had emerged out of nowhere. Evie and Walter reconcile and share an intimate moment.
Evie attends the rehearsal dinner and hopes that she will get to meet the couple that is going to get married. At the dinner table, Walter welcomed the three great families, i.e., the Billingtons from Whiteby, the Klopstocks from Budapest, and the Alexanders of London. Evie was still confused as she couldn’t see the couple who were going to get married. To her horror, Walter announced that he was going to marry Evie and talked about re-forming the bonds that had been broken. Moreover, a maid was slaughtered in front of her own eyes, and her blood was consumed as refreshments by Walter, Viktoria, and Lucy. Walter’s real identity and his intentions are finally revealed. Walter was a vampire, and for ages, the mortals of the three families had aided him in his ghastly endeavors. Viktoria and Lucy were his two wives, and he wanted to take Evie as the third one. Emmaline, Evie’s great-grandmother, was Walter’s wife, but she refused to drink the blood of a human being. She was the same woman who committed suicide at the beginning of “The Invitation.” The bloodlines of the Billingtons, the Klopstocks, and the Alexanders were rare. Viktoria said that if combined together, it would make the three wives and their master, Walter, extremely strong and powerful. Viktoria had been with Walter for the past 500 years, and that is why she felt that she had a superior position as compared to any other new wife. Lucy’s association was still new, as she had been with the family only for a century. In the marriage ceremony, the wife and the master had to drink each other’s blood. Lucy told Evie that once she drank the blood of Walter, she would have the power equivalent to 100 men, but only when the master drank the blood of his wife would they be granted eternal life. Evie was put in a coffin and was told that she could come out during the day. Mrs. Smith, the maid who was assigned to Evie, came to her rescue. She had been a friend of her great-grandmother’s and had wanted to warn Evie about the upcoming doom, though she wasn’t able to. Evie was able to escape the Carfax Abbey estate and started knocking on every door for help. She met an elderly couple named Mr. and Mrs. Harker, who gave her shelter. Evie saw a picture of the old couple and realized that they swore their allegiance to the Lord of the New Carfax Abbey. She tried to run from there, but she couldn’t and was once again sent back to Walter’s mansion. Walter told her that it was a rather profitable proposition for her. She would be free from the frailty of human life and could enjoy immortality. Evie agrees to marry Walter, as she doesn’t have much of a choice. In the ceremony, Walter cuts his wrist, and Evie sucks blood from it. Her body transformed. Evie could feel the adrenaline running in her veins. She said that she wanted to drink the blood of the maid, Diya, but instead went and put the table on fire. She stabbed Walter and chased Oliver, who was responsible for fraudulently bringing her into the mansion. Evie was attacked by Viktoria, but Lucy intervened and asked her to stop the facade once and for all. Lucy pushed Viktoria against a spear, and it pierced through both their bodies. They both died, and Evie had a near-escape once again. Mr. Fields attacked Evie and didn’t leave the opportunity to degrade her once again, though she got the better of him and killed him. Evie attacked Walter with his full might, but the girl was relentless. She severed his wrists and pushed him into the fire. The nightmare ended, and Evie went back to New York. In the end, we see that Olivar is trying to escape the country and hide the evidence from the authorities, but Evie and her friend Grace have not forgiven the shrewd conspirator. They track him down and follow him into his office, probably killing him for his ungrateful behavior and sinful deeds.
There is nothing original or authentic about the film “The Invitation.” The story has been done and redone so many times that unless and until you have something totally unique and fresh, there is no point in dwelling on the subject matter. The invitation feels like a half-hearted attempt; that makes every attempt just stay on the surface. The narrative is as frail as the human lives it talks about. Why did Jessica Thompson and Blair Butler think that it was a good idea to make this film still amuses me? The story is highly predictable and isn’t able to induce that horror or adrenaline rush that we have seen in some of the earlier films of the same genre. “The Invitation” is totally not worth your time as the lack of innovativeness is not just appalling but extremely exasperating.
“The Invitation” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Jessica M. Thompson.