I have to admit, I was already leery of 2022’s The Invitation immediately upon seeing the title. It’s admittedly a very common phrase, but if you’re an up-and-coming horror filmmaker you must have some chutzpah if you’re going to settle on a title that has not only been prominently used pretty recently, but used by one of the very best horror films of the last decade. Karyn Kusama’s 2015 The Invitation is a masterclass in slow-burning tension, about a man invited to a party at his ex-wife’s house that seems to have sinister intent lurking in the peripherals. The 2022 Invitaiton, on the other hand … well, if you watch the trailer below, you’ll seemingly learn pretty much all there is to learn about it.
The criticism of “spoilers” and “giving too much away” in movie trailers can frankly be overblown, with communities like reddit railing against the practice when most film trailers are simply trying to generate excitement for a premise. But this one for 2022’s The Invitation truly does leave nothing to the imagination, revealing multiple twists and pretty much giving us the entire structure of the film. If you don’t want to know any of those spoilers, go ahead and stop reading now. As for the official synopsis, it’s as follows:
After the death of her mother and having no other known relatives, Evie (Nathalie Emmanuel) takes a DNA test…and discovers a long-lost cousin she never knew she had. Invited by her newfound family to a lavish wedding in the English countryside, she’s at first seduced by the sexy aristocrat host but is soon thrust into a nightmare of survival as she uncovers twisted secrets in her family’s history and the unsettling intentions behind their sinful generosity.
That’s not a bad synopsis, actually. Watch the trailer, on the other hand, and one quickly finds that … the hosts are vampires! Aristocratic vampires, full of overt Dracula references, like a character named “Harker.” And the “wedding” that Evie has been invited to is in fact her own, where she’s intended to become some sort of vampire bride to the head White Male Douchebag. Nathalie Emmanuel of Game of Thrones stars as the no doubt deeply disappointed protagonist, who must then evoke Samara Weaving in Ready or Not as she fights back against the family on what is now her surprise wedding day. The film opens on Aug. 26, 2022, but that date might as well be today given that we now seemingly know the entire plot.
Which is all to say—it’s not as if this trailer couldn’t have been a bit more coy about the whole thing. Did it really need to reveal not one but both of its major twists? Would the black woman being invited to a mansion full of sinister, aristocratic white folks have not been inherently creepy enough? Why make everything so explicit? Regardless, you can check out the trailer for The Invitation below, but do yourself a favor and go see Kusama’s 2015 The Invitation sooner rather than later.