13 Halloween movies for people who don’t like horror

14 of 14

Logan Marshall-Green and Michiel Huisman in The Invitation (2016), screenshot courtesy of Drafthouse Films

1. The Invitation (2016)

Karyn Kusama’s first movie since 2009’s Jennifer’s Body has a familiar premise. Will, played by Tom Hardy lookalike Logan Marshall-Green, takes his girlfriend, Kira (Middle of Nowhere’s Emayatzy Corinealdi) to the home of his ex-wife, Eden (Tammy Blanchard), who is now married to a mysterious man named David (Game of Thrones’ Michiel Huisman) for a dinner party. They are joined by a few of Eden and David’s friends, whom the couple hasn’t seen in two years. As the night drags on, Will becomes increasingly agitated. Is there really something wrong? Or is he just paranoid, traumatized by memories of the tragedy that led to his and Eden’s divorce?

It’s pretty clear early on what’s going to happen, but Kusama still keeps you on your toes. Even though the movie mostly occurs indoors, she makes terrific use of the Hollywood Hills location, emphasizing its seclusion (despite being right outside a major city) and the nondescript glamour of the house architecture. Will and Kira aside, the characters embody the most insufferable brand of L.A. self-absorption, like parodies of the obnoxious, rich people that populate so many horror films. Rather than distracting from the story, though, this amplifies the suspense, tapping into the universal discomfort of interacting with unfamiliar people and the fear that you don’t know those closest to you as well as you think. Slowly, inexorably, The Invitation builds to a heart-stopping final shot that makes you reconsider everything that came before.

Related Story: 30 DIY Halloween Costumes For Empowered Ladies!

Similar movies: Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Queen of Earth (2015)