Jui Ming Pai Dui aka Invitation Only (2009)

Made in Taiwan. We seem to see that on a hell of a lot products from electronics to souvenirs that, oddly enough you bought from that tacky little shop in Rhyl. For a pretty small island they make a lot of merchandise that in some way or another has found its way into Western homes. Taiwan and its Economy: 1 – Stupid British Tourists: 0 (always zero).
And movies, yeah of course they make films, and they’d be fools not to cash in on the gore addicted horror hounds that populate the globe and their never ending stream of currency.
So that would put the score at Taiwan: 12gazillion (it’s a real number) – Horror Hounds: 1 (we get one, because we are better than British tourists, but only marginally).
Now are these cinematic offerings going to be mass produced paint by numbers crowd pleasers (like they’re electronic counterparts), or are we going to be once again, trounced at most things by the might of one of the worlds superpowers (because luckily for the People’s Republic of China, in this case human rights atrocities go in their favour because duh, it’s a horror movie)?

Invitation only is the story of five people who are invited to a party where they are asked to write down their dreams with the promise that they will manifest, and unlike most parties I have been to, this host actually manages to deliver the goods. Until it turns bad that is, because they always do, and this sucky party ends with something much worse than having to clean vomit off your shoes. Nearly as bad anyway, because that is not a fun time.

Taiwan’s first foray into the slasher genre falls a little flat in my eyes. It meanders through the set up a little too long without the vital ingredient that makes the Slasher Equation work, which, as we all should know by now, is non-negotiable: Blood + Funny = Happy Gore Whore.
Without a wisecracking bestie or a sardonic underdog, you’re basically just lurching from death to death with a bad soap opera filling in the gaps, which in this case is a shame because it’s well crafted visually, with decent FX and not a bad plot. For a first attempt at a slasher, I’ve seen much worse from directors who’ve had a lot more practice at this, so I guess you could say it’s a pass without the laughs.

Good start, but next time throw in a funny (a token 80s Feldman or even a 90s Arquette … David not Alexis!) and we could have ourselves a winner!

This entry was posted in critique, film and media, horror, opinion, pop culture, rant, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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