Evie is a struggling New York artist who works as a catering waitress to pay the payments. At an occasion for a brand new DNA testing firm, she snags a swag bag and takes the check inside; after the latest loss of life of her mom, she feels alone and adrift and seeks a way of id. Turns out, she’s obtained a bunch of cousins, and so they’re all British, and really white. But the script from Thompson and Blair Butler merely skims the floor of exploring the racial implications of this connection. When an excessively enthusiastic second cousin (Hugh Skinner) invitations Evie to affix him for a complicated household marriage ceremony at a decadent English property—and he or she arrives and realizes uneasily she’s the one particular person of coloration in addition to the maids—there’s hope that “The Invitation” may need one thing extra related and substantial on its thoughts alongside the strains of Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.” No such luck.
Her greatest buddy again house, Grace (an amusing Courtney Taylor), is appropriately skeptical, however Evie will get swept up within the sense of belonging. Sure, the maids are all sporting uniforms with numbers on them. That’s just a little bizarre. And the butler (Sean Pertwee) is a condescending prig. And there’s a hidden key that unlocks the library that’s off-limits. But nonetheless! The younger lord of the manor, Walter (a seductive Thomas Doherty), is tremendous hunky together with his piercing blue eyes and his sq. jaw and his shirt unbuttoned one button too many. And he isn’t one among Evie’s family, which is all the time a plus.
As the three-day festivities unfurl, Thompson depends method too closely on low-cost soar scares to place us on edge, which is a disgrace, as a result of there’s sufficient ambiance throughout the movie’s preliminary thriller. A spa day for Evie and the imposingly glamorous maids of honor (Stephanie Corneliussen and Alana Boden) is staged and paced significantly effectively. And she might have taken extra time in constructing suspense to the large reveal, which happens at an ominous, masked dinner party that’s like one thing out of “Eyes Wide Shut.”