I’m a social guy. I love the pop in. Doing nothing at home; the doorbell rings and a friend stops in. We grab a La Croix Passionfruit (I stopped being a “MAN” in 2008) and head to the back patio for heady discussion and a snack somehow called “Peatos”. These are Cheetos made from peas. Good Lord. Anyway, that’s fun. Even if it’s much more than a one on one, I’m still into it. The surprise makes it. But when the dinner party invitation comes for two weeks from Saturday, a certain dread sets in for me. I’ll know some of the people; but I’ll probably not know most of them. Again, I’m a social guy - and in most cases, I’ll get by. But not without the odd silences, the conversation missteps (“Crap, wasn’t that last Sandler movie awful?” “I was the DP.” “Oh”), and weird moments when I dig into a post-meal antacid and one oddball asks me how can I ingest that when it’s made with ox-bile. That really happened.
Anyway, the dinner party is a trepidation already. If you factor in a multi-universe time warp or a cult video, then the evening has officially gone off the rails. The two dinner party themed thrillers we talk about on this thrilling episode of Cinemondo are The Invitation and Coherence. I won’t talk about these movies at all, except they have to do with an evening of wine, food, friends (and acquaintances), conversation, and horror. Well, maybe not the plunge-the-bread-knife-into-the -temple horror, but stuff that is actually a bit scarier. Both are well thought out - really smart. And they are filled with characters that do smart things. If they’re thinking ahead of me, no big feat but still wildly rare, then I’m digging the movie.
The Invitation has a bigger budget, and plays a bit stronger. Coherence is super low budget, shot in a few days, with a lot of improv. It only starts to show its seems towards the end, but it is still gripping stuff. I liked The Invitation more only because it can happen, and maybe already has. Have you been to the Hollywood Hills lately? Both available for streaming and way more thought-provoking than the latest Netflix Sandler flick. Or so I have heard. thanks for reading folks! - Mark