WHO INVITED THEM
(director/writer: Duncan Birmingham; cinematographer: Bruce Thierry Cheung; editor: Patrick Lawrence; cast: Ryan Hansen (Adam), Melissa Tang (Margo), Timothy Granaderos (Tom), Avital Ash (Brooke), Christopher Chen (Neil), Judy Kain (Barbara), Tipper Newton (Teeny), Barry Rothbart (Frank), Zeke Nicholson (Ryan), Kalo Moss (Dylan), Parry Mattfeld (Sasha); Runtime: 81; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Mary Pat Bentel; Shudder; 2022)
“Though I found it incomplete, I found it amusing and worth seeing.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Debut feature film director Duncan Birmingham also is the writer of this disturbing and creepy “Funny Games” type of character study home invasion thriller.
The moving up in lifestyle, bourgeois couple with a young son, consisting of the nerdy and self-satisfied Adam (Ryan Hansen) and his hipper wife Margo (Melissa Tang). She’s reluctant about the party they are hosting, a catered housewarming party in the Hollywood Hills. Their home has a gruesome history she’s still unaware of (a double homicide happened many years ago).
The guests are from his workplace and seem to look down upon their hosts as losers, who don’t deserve to be moving into such a beautiful house. They leave after carefully checking out the place and whispering nasty things about the couple. But one couple remains, who claim to be their next-door neighbors, Tom (Timothy Granaderos) and Sasha (Perry Mattfeld). They are high rollers, who invited themselves to the party without telling the hosts. After breaking out cocaine, they advocate their squarish neighbors live “life in the fast lane.” The well-dressed guests are unpleasant and argumentative sociopaths, and it soon becomes apparent their intentions are sinister. What is their end game becomes the question. Meanwhile Adam and Margo go into a meltdown, indicating violence is looming around the corner.
Though I found it incomplete, I found it amusing and worth seeing.
It played at the Overlook Film Festival.
REVIEWED ON 1/11/2023 GRADE: B