‘The Invitation’: Jessica M. Thompson ‘breaks the patriarchy’ in horror film Dracula Bride

Director Jessica M. Thompson makes her mark in horror cinema with The invite (now in theaters), starring Nathalie Emmanuel and Thomas Doherty, a bizarre feminist vampire tale that is fun and tense storytelling, but ultimately hinges on the concept of exposing and “breaking down” the patriarchy.

“Women filmmakers can sometimes tend to get really locked into certain things, so I didn’t want to be locked into drama, even though I like drama,… I really want to get into the genre, I really wanted to do an eyesore,” Thompson said Yahoo Canada.

“[Genre] reaches more people and has a larger audience, so you have the ability to make social comments without knocking people over with it.

It is essentially loneliness that launches Evie (Nathalie Emmanuel) on her way. After recently losing her mother, Evie takes a DNA test that leads her to a wealthy, long-lost family in England. When she is invited to a wedding by this new family, what seemed like a generous offer becomes much more sinister, eventually revealing that their intentions are based on continuing this prestigious bloodline.

“Sony sent me the script in January 2020 and I read it very quickly, it was a page-turner,” Thompson said. “I was really drawn to this idea of ​​a Dracula’s wife origin story set in the modern world and felt like it had never been said before.”

“I wanted to rewrite some things, I wanted to create a bit more of a subversion mix of romance, so I kind of added more to the romance, I really like to mix genres… I kind of introduced them to ideas and literally, it was March 15, 2020, just the day before the world shut down. I was the last meeting Sony had, the last meeting I had in person with anyone.

As the COVID-19 pandemic became an unprecedented hurdle, Thompson says it allowed her to really “spend time with the script” before production began in 2021.

Thomas Doherty, Jessica M. Thompson and Nathalie Emmanuel on the set of

Thomas Doherty, Jessica M. Thompson and Nathalie Emmanuel on the set of “The Invitation”

“It’s about breaking the patriarchy in this film”

Aesthetically, The invite looks like everything you could want from a gothic vampire film, with the film’s message really focused on patriarchal issues.

“For me, it’s about breaking down the patriarchy in this movie and it’s about the old world order, and how it’s maintained not just by men, but by women who become complacent, and you could tell they fall victim to it, but also end up supporting it,” Jessica M. Thompson said. “It was really important to show because I think we can all point the finger at the bad men in the world, but there are also a lot of women who support these men.”

“I wanted to explore that in this kind of old [hierarchy], these lineages,… going down in history through DNA, through blood, I think that’s a really unique pattern. It just goes to show, what does blood mean? What does this heritage mean and can you break the tradition? I argue, yes. Every time someone says, “well, that’s tradition,” I’m like, “well, that doesn’t mean it’s good.” That doesn’t mean it’s healthy for society. Let’s examine these old world orders. We did it in vampires, but you can apply it to corporations, to political structures.

Thompson also really explores this idea of ​​men using women for ownership, something she points out that audiences have already really responded to.

“There’s this moment, which I love, which I’ve seen with a few viewers now, and when her great-uncle…kisses her on the cheek at the wedding, the whole audience goes ‘ew’,” Thompson said. said. “I love that it works, the public understands that it’s men who sell their daughters, it’s disgusting.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 08: (L-R) Director Jessica M. Thompson and actors Nathalie Emmanuel and Thomas Doherty attend the New York Friends & Family INVITATION Screening at The Crosby Hotel on August 08, 2022 in New York City.  (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Sony Pictures Entertainment)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 08: (L-R) Director Jessica M. Thompson and actors Nathalie Emmanuel and Thomas Doherty attend the New York Friends & Family INVITATION Screening at The Crosby Hotel on August 08, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Find the main cast of “The Invitation”

Of course, every great filmmaker needs great actors to collaborate with to bring the story to life, and Jessica M. Thompson had that in game of thrones actress Nathalie Emmanuel, leading the story as Evie.

“I always thought of Nathalie, … originally the script wasn’t for a woman of color and I felt, because it’s really a story about patriarchy, that the most private people of their rights are largely women of color,” Thompson said. “She’s such a graceful and amazing actress, she throws herself into every moment, and horror movies are especially hard. You have to go through trauma, you have to scream and cry, and she did all of that.

“We watched the movie together…and she was so emotional she was crying afterwards…I’m glad she was so proud.”

In order to balance this suave, aristocratic, yet deeply terrifying masculine aspect of the story, Thomas Doherty (Gossip Girl, High fidelity) while Walter takes the initiative in this regard in The invite.

“In my mind, he’s the next Leonardo DiCaprio, he’s really fantastic,” Thompson said. “He really plays multiple characters, first of all he plays the lord of the mansion…and then he realizes that doesn’t really convince her, she doesn’t care about his money, and so he kind of has to adapt to what she considers a leading man.

“Once the penny drops, he’s obviously the complete villain… When he has some of those sly smiles or those kind of mischievous, all-knowing looks, the audience… might say, ‘Oh, that was his true nature showing through. ‘”

Jessica M. Thompson

Jessica M. Thompson

“It’s strange to me that we were cut off from this world”

Jessica M. Thompson really dove into her love of horror in this movie, studying the tensions in her favorite movies of the genre, but also putting out a ton of Easter eggs for aficionados, including 90 Bram Stoker references. Dracula and other nods to the brilliant. There was actually a moment, which was ultimately cut from the film, where, after Evie had nightmares, a maid said, “I also tend to have nightmares after eating food rich”, because Stoker said he wrote Dracula after eating too much dressed crab.

This deep dive into the horror exemplified in Thompson’s film further establishes the illogical and rage-provoking nature of women who historically feel like they don’t have the support and space to create this type of story based on genre.

“It’s strange to me that we were cut off from this world, until recently, and I’m so happy that Jennifer Kent…[other women] of the world opened that door for people like me to come in,” said Thompson. “I’m so sick of horror movies, and any genre movie…[where] we’re just rehashing old material.”

“As soon as you open the door to more diverse people, women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, you’re just going to get a new perspective that you’ve never seen before and it’s going to give you something brand new. Unfortunately, of course, we’re judged a bit more harshly,…I think the public is too smart now, they want something new, they want something unique…I think there’s has a lot of room to grow but I think we’re also definitely making our mark.

#Invitation #Jessica #Thompson #breaks #patriarchy #horror #film #Dracula #Bride

Leave a Comment