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Invitation (2003)

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Plot Summary:
"Fifteen years ago, a group of young friends were playing a game of baseball. One of them is called home for dinner and the gang decides to let the creepy neighborhood fat kid join in. The first pitch is slammed over the fence, into the road, and the fat kid excitedly chases the ball. As the group taunts him and his efforts, they don't notice a truck speeding toward him. He is killed on impact. PRESENT DAY- The members of the old gang all receive mysterious invitations to reunite at an old lodge. Thinking one of the group must have some "big announcement", they all arrive at the lodge. What the group learns about the lodge and the real reason why they were "invited", leaves them fighting for their lives."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 12 April 2005 My Rating: out of 5


This low budget film sees a group of friends reunited at an 'out of the way inn' 15 years after a boy they used to taunt was killed during a game of baseball.

I have to say that I regularly see lots of trailers for horror movies but this one actually stood out as it looked good. The film however, which I still found to be competently shot and enjoyable, was not without it's problems.

Whilst the cast were all suitably gorgeous, I had a hard time believeing their actions and motivations for most of the duration, and I can't decide if that's down to the acting or the script.

The film looks really good for a low budget movie and particular attention has been payed to the small details, ensuring that the deaths are well executed.

Where I feel the film ran into trouble was in the editing stages, not because it's a bad isn't (although I did detect some sync problems) in fact the film is technically competent for the most part. Where the problem lies is in the pacing of the movie.

The film takes quite a while to establish the characters and the story before getting rid of the actors at what felt like a frighteningly quick pace. This made it hard for me to focus, considering that the first death came completely out of left field as I was expecting this to be a slasher movie.

The first death showed the killer but went against what had already been set up, and then the film seemed to turn into a vengeful ghost movie that never fully capitalised on any of it's ideas.

Director Jeff Burton and his team seem to work well together and it shows, but the film is very uneven in tone, style and pacing which hampers their good and somewhat original ideas.

This is worth renting as it is enjoyable, has a couple of good deaths and is somewhat original. If only the film had been consistent throughout and had run with it's intial idea it would have been even better. There's nothing wrong with aiming high as I have no doubts that the folks at indie horror are more than capable. Where I felt they ran into trouble was in their eagerness to stand out from the crowd as I'm afraid a good idea became a little bit muddled in the execution.

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