Home invasion movies are always so terrifying, because within the horror genre, this is the category where it can totally happen in real life. That's the real scary thing about it. Mix that category with some charming manipulative chracters and something very special happens. Shudder is the very best place to get your spooky and scary needs when it comes to the horror community. They have built quite a catalogue of orginals that are super well made. Who Invited Them directed by Duncan Birmingham is the newest addition and sets the bar on what makes a great home invasion horror film. An original take on the genre that is about a couple, Adam (Ryan Hansen) and Margo (Melissa Tang), who just moved into a new home that has a insidious past. A past that comes back knocking at their door. When a another couple, Tom (Timothy Granaderos) and Sasha (Perry Mattfeld) crash a party at their house, a series of crazy events begin to unfold. Who Invited Them is a strong horror film that really gets under your skin. An entertaining and mesmerizing experience from start to end.
The performances in this movie, is what really stands out. Both couples are very charismatic and engaging. As a viewer, I was hooked by both sets of personalities and the dynamic chemistry they all had with each other. The writing is strong in the case that the dialogue seems very organic and real. Tom and Sasha crash the party at the couple's new home and really make themselves at home. At the end of the party, they over stay their welcome and proceed to want to party with the newly moved in couple. Adam and Margo are thrown off by the couple because neither of them invited them to the party. Their concerns are put to ease when they explain that they are their neighbors and just couldn't resist crashing the part. The crazy thing is, the performances are so well done, that the story they tell is super beleievable. They put on an act of the century, although we the viewer, know that there is something wrong going on. It was so hard to dislike these home intruders becuase they seem like the cool couple that are super successful and the story really sells that. They mask themselves with ease and seem completely harmless.
The story itself is pretty straight forward, but there were some really great surprises along the way. There were definitely moments where it had me guess which direction the movie will go. There's a great backstory about the house and we get some really haunting flashback scenes. The editing is super smooth and having the characters correct themselves with telling the story and visually seeing it get retold was super creative and awesome to see. It allowed for more suspense and not get the whole story given to the audience. By showing the in real-time editing of the story being told about the history of the house, it created the great reveal, that happens at the end of the movie. The clean cut editing, smooth cinematography and score, really brought thier home to life and the situation they found themselves in. Who Invited Them is well put togetehr and flows perfectly in it's short runtime. The pacing is great and the movie moves fast. There are some scenes, such as their friend's side story getting lost while driving, that felt like it was a little too much and took away some of the tension of the main story. I did like her use within the movie though.
Overall Who Invited Them is a super fun and enjoyable watch. Shudder has been on a roll with all of their originals as of late. A well put together ensemble that bring so much life to a movie that honestly requires it. The story requires the persuasiveness of the intruding couple, to be allowed in the homeowner's new home after the party ends. The conversations were captivating and everyone had a lot passion in making this movie. You can truly tell that they had a great time on set in making this film. I highly recommend people to check this one out on the streaming service. It's also a horror film that many people can handle that are new to the genre. Director Duncan Birmingham has done an incredible job and I will really pay close attention to what he does next.
Reviewed By: Frederick Nuti