The Invitation' Is A Fascinating Yet Familiar Vampire Story.

Cross Jane Austen's proclivities with those of Bram Stoker, and you get

"The Invitation," a surprisingly disturbing and entertaining new gothic-horror film.

The film took me by surprise. Going into the theatre, I had low hopes.

Late August through September is frequently a studio dumping ground for difficult-to market films.

My greatest fear going into the theatre was falling asleep halfway through the film.

Don't misunderstand me. The picture, directed by Jessica M Thompson from a story written by her and Blair Butler,

focuses on an old B-movie plot, but the execution and production qualities are A-list in my opinion.

Thompson and her cinematographer Autumn Eakin work together to create a wonderfully set

and photographed picture with A-list production qualities despite the film's pulpy content.

Despite the impending sense of dread brought up in the film's opening scene,

the picture is wonderfully made in its darkness and is luscious to savour.

Unfortunately, the trailer gave away the key surprise of the film. The plot begins as a romance but quickly transforms into an undercover vampire film.

Even without the giveaway, discerning audiences would have picked up on the vampiric smell as the picture began to drop a slew of references to

Bram Stoker's 1897 novel "Dracula" and its numerous cinematic adaptations midway through the first act.

To be honest, I'm a sucker for a good vampire film, and "The Invitation" meets the description.

Others who do not share my fondness for traditional vampires may not be as entertained as I was.