After moving into a dream home in the Hollywood Hills, Adam and Margo host a party — mainly for Adam’s ego to show off their impressive new digs. But as the guests disperse at the end of the night, a mysterious couple remains. As they overstay their welcome and poke at their hosts relationship, the evening quickly turns into a neighborly nightmare.
Written and directed by Duncan Birmingham, Who Invited Them is a fresh take on an invasion film with a quirky plot and playful script. Most of the fun is within all the misdirects thrown at us viewers where we’re left to wonder: Who the hell is this couple?
For their part, Perry Mattfeld and Timothy Granaderos do a fabulous job playing the boisterous unknowns named Sasha and Tom. As they pry into Adam and Margo’s relationship, it’s uncertain if they are friend or foe. Divulging any more than that puts us in spoiler territory, but their twisted humor and manipulations are so intriguing to read.
There’s a level of anxiety that drums up as a viewer with every minute that passes, where Sasha and Tom weasel their way into extending their nightcap. You’re beginning to get just as unnerved as Adam and Margo (Melissa Tang), yet they’re so charming at times it feels misplaced.
However, one of my pain points with the film is that it reveals its hand too early. It’s clear where the film is going during an earlier scene where Adam (Ryan Hansen) provides some background on the house, making the third act too predictable. Even though that is where the most tension lies, I was underwhelmed by the “twist” since it was so obvious.
Who Invited Them is slightly a cautionary tale on always double checking your guest list. It’s a lighthearted horror that trades in intense terrors for something more of an oddball, misleading trip.
And even though the open-ended conclusion felt abrupt and a touch unsatisfying for me, it didn’t do a disservice to the film as a whole.
Who Invited Them is streaming on Shudder Sept. 1