“The Invitation” Discussion Questions

Write a paragraph or two in response to each of the following prompts:

My first question should never be a surprise anymore. What’s the significance of the title “The Invitation”? Yes, there’s a physical invitation, one that is shown and commented upon, and which refers to other elements of the film, but after you address those very tangible aspects, consider the larger cultural implications of the word “invitation,” with its connections to hospitality and manners and what is asked or given in return for an invitation.

Discuss this film’s commentary on the issues of grief and family relationships. To do this, you might want to compare and contrast it to “The Babadook” or any of the previous films we’ve watched that consider these same topics in some way.

Consider the film making aspects of “The Invitation.” How was this film crafted to maximize its emotional impact though the soundtrack, the lighting, the acting, the pacing, etc.? What makes us first recognize this as a suspense or horror movie? How does the film conform with or push against our expectations of a horror movie?

Many commentators have discussed the ambiguity of the film’s ending. What do you make of it? What are we meant to understand at the end and what does it all mean?

Published by Chuck Caruso

writer of dark fiction (crime, horror & western noir), literary & textual scholar (american gothic, noir, po-co, sf), and cultural critic

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