Vampires have been a staple of the horror genre for more than a century, which proves just how appealing the bloodsuckers can be to every generation, though also means it can be a challenge to put a fresh spin on the concept that audiences haven't seen before. In the new film The Invitation, stars Nathalie Emmanuel and Thomas Doherty are tasked with finding ways to honor the tropes of vampiric love stories while also delivering a unique experience, which presents the stars with exciting challenges and opportunities. Audiences can see The Invitation when it lands in theaters on Friday, August 26th.
"I think the fascination with vampires has always been quite sexy, and the fascination with violence and the all-powerful and immortality, I think it's all things that we all as human beings, you've always been quite fascinated by," Emmanuel shared with ComicBook.com about why these stories are so compelling. "And then when you take a story that's very well known and there's this huge landscape that we're all very familiar with and then just put it in a modern context."
She continued, "And with interrogating them in a modern context, it's very easy to look at our film and see the structures of power and then how it gets abused and exploited, and how people who are less powerful get exploited and things like that. I think I was drawn to the ... Because I feel like there's lots of films within one film. There's the romantic element, the thriller, the psychological aspect to it, and the action side of it. It was just fun for me to get involved in something that just had all these different components and interrogated all these ideas. I just thought it was incredibly appealing and interesting."
In the film, after the death of her mother and having no other known relatives, Evie (Emmanuel) takes a DNA test...and discovers a long-lost cousin she never knew she had. Invited by her newfound family to a lavish wedding in the English countryside, she's at first seduced by the sexy aristocrat host but is soon thrust into a nightmare of survival as she uncovers twisted secrets in her family's history and the disturbing intentions behind their generosity.
With Doherty playing both the love interest and unearthly antagonist, he aimed to avoid any thought about how his character connected with similar figures from the genre's history.
"You can't think too much about [honoring previous vampire characters], because that adds on a lot of pressure and your focus is then not on the script and what the writer has written and what the director intends," Doherty detailed. "So your mind's split. So you just trust the director, you trust the writing, and you just focus on that and try and do it justice and do it to the best that you can do it and take your own take. I mean, there's nothing that I would've done that would've been so outlandish to disrespect any prior vampire."
The Invitation hits theaters on August 26th.
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