The Invitation Parent Guide
This tedious Dracula ripoff barely scrapes its way into a PG-13 rating but it's much too violent for young viewers.
Parent Movie Review
Since the death of her mother several months ago, Evie (Nathalie Emmanuel) has been feeling a little lonesome. Her father died when she was a child, and she has no siblings or other family that she knows of. So when she finds a cousin through a DNA ancestry kit, she’s eager to meet her relations. The big surprise is that her cousin, Oliver (Hugh Skinner), is part of an old-money British family.
Oliver shares Evie’s excitement over their kinship and invites her along to a grand wedding at New Carfax Abbey, the DeVille family estate in the English countryside. While Evie, a lifelong low-income working girl from New York, feels a little out of place amongst all the wealth and status, she’s not too dazzled to notice that things feel a little bit odd…a feeling that increases when she realizes that she has yet to see the bride or groom.
The rather bloody trailer may have tipped you off that this isn’t just a pauper-to-princess story about a girl with conveniently wealthy relations in the landed gentry. And, as the oh-so-subtly named New Carfax Abbey may have indicated, it’s a vampire story. The film drops frequent references to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, whether it’s the bottle of 1897 Vino Coeur (the year the novel was published, and a name that means “heart wine”) or local townsfolk Jonathan and Mina Harker (main characters in the story). The problem here is that if I were hankering for a Dracula fix, I would simply watch any of half a dozen existing adaptations. What I didn’t need out of this adaptation was an hour and a half of slow, generic romance followed by twenty minutes of gory excitement.
The movie just can’t get out of its own way. It never quite manages to be frightening, and barely manages to be startling despite half a dozen cheap jump scares littered haphazardly about the runtime. Mostly, I think The Invitation is trying to be intriguing, but since it’s already given you so much information about where the story’s going, it succeeds only at feeling slow and bloated.
The movie also attempts to scrape into a PG-13 rating (which it was granted), but it hasn’t done it very well. The violence is quite bloody and brutal, and the film is both too dark and too boring for younger audiences. I suppose if you’re just hunting for some neo-gothic intrigue and familial drama, this might scratch that particular itch, but if you were hoping for anything verging on exciting, then you might be better off just taking a nap and hoping for strange dreams. If you’re not careful, you might end up doing that during the movie anyway.Directed by Jessica M. Thompson. Starring Nathalie Emmanuel, Thomas Doherty, Stephanie Corneliussen. Running time: 104 minutes. Theatrical release August 26, 2022. Updated January 13, 2024
Watch the trailer for The InvitationThis trailer contains too much violent imagery to be posted on a family website.
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Invitation rated PG-13? The Invitation is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for terror, violent content, some strong language, sexual content and partial nudity
Violence: Characters are bitten, impaled, stabbed, cut, and burned alive. An individual is seen committing suicide by hanging.
Sexual Content: A woman is briefly seen swimming nude with some brief buttock nudity. Characters have sex without graphic nudity or explicit detail.
Profanity: There is one sexual expletive,
Alcohol / Drug Use: There is brief social drinking and one joking reference to heroin.
Page last updated January 13, 2024
The Invitation Parents' Guide
Are you familiar with your roots? Have you ever been curious about your ancestors or extended relatives? To trace your family tree, you can start at these websites:
Related home video titles:
Other films about the hazards of spending time with your relations include Ready or Not, Get Out, Hereditary, The Lodge, The Shining, Inheritance, and Pet Sematary. If you’re in more of a bloodsucking mood, try recent offerings like Day Shift, Night Teeth, and Vampires vs The Bronx, or older options like Dracula (1931), What We Do in the Shadows, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Daybreakers, Underworld, Blade, or Nosferatu.