The Invitation’s Marketing May Be the Worst in Movie History


The following contains spoilers for Sony’s The Invitation, now playing in theaters.

It’s safe to say marketing in Hollywood, especially on the video side, has been tricky in recent years. A lot stems from the rise of the digital and social media era, with all the fans and platforms demanding content. As such, studios have pivoted, which resulted in way too much being put out at times, giving away spoilers and ruining the cinematic experience for fans. Marvel Studios suffered from this, only to tighten the ship when secrets in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame had to be kept to preserve the plot. Well, come The Invitation, the entertainment industry just reminded fans that sometimes, it’s best to stay away from trailers.


Sony has had problems on this front before, including the marketing for the Spider-Man movies starring Tom Holland, Uncharted and Morbius. But even in those cases, the entire plot wasn’t given away. The same can’t be said for The Invitation, though, with Sony literally running through every major beat of the film, including the finale, via its main trailer.

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The clip, which clocked in at two-and-a-half minutes, had Nathalie Emmanuel’s Evie being lured to the British estate where Walter seduced her. However, it also showed Viktoria sucking on her bloody finger after a cut, shared a lot about the masked cult and the estate’s gothic vibe and showed the money shot of the butler slitting a maid’s throat at the dinner table. But the trailer could have been cut, keeping the mystique up in an age where folks pause and screenshot every frame.

It’d have left fans guessing if this was a hunt similar to Ready or Not, if there was a snuff film being made or if Evie was making things up. Instead, the clip featured Walter toasting with blood, Evie getting attacked by creatures in the shadows and Walter pinning her up against the wall with his fangs visible. And to make matters worse, the trailer had Evie drinking from Walter’s hand in the wedding, killing the butler and going on a rampage, spoiling how she’d power up to try to escape New Carfax Abbey.

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It’s such a shame because all the clip had to do to misdirect fans was use the ghoul seen on Evie’s ceiling right after the dinner shots. It would have thrown folks off the vampire scent and made it seem like a haunted house story, similar to what director Mike Flanagan charts for Netflix. Unfortunately, The Invitation’s marketing was lazy and unimaginative, leaving fans who saw the movies in theaters wondering why they bought a ticket when it’s all summarized in the trailer perfectly.

To see how marketing fails this vampire film, The Invitation is now playing in theaters.



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2022-09-11 20:00:00

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