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Who Invited Them (2022): Movie Review & Ending Explained

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In “Who Invited Them”, the latest Shudder original, writer-director Duncan Birmingham uses the tropes of the home-invasion genre into a palpably tense thriller. For this, Birmingham goes to the Hitchcockian way of creating suspense, with just about a touch of mystery. The result is a tantalizingly apprehensive watch without resorting to a bloodbath that is generally associated with films of the same genre. Conversations and manipulations channel the intended dread, rather than chainsaws and jackhammers.




Who Invited Them Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

Adam (Ryan Hansen) and Margo (Melissa Tang) seemed to be the couple who has everything. Their newly bought villa, in the posh suburbs of Hollywood Hills, was the latest addition to their wealth of happiness. Or so it seemed at first. Their housewarming party reeked their newfound elite status. Adam particularly wanted to impress his office colleagues and his boss with the glitz that their new house catered to. Margo was not too thrilled about that though.

As guests started to filter out and eventually Adam and Margo were finally alone, they wonder about a smartly dressed young couple they saw at the party. Both of them had thought the other invited the couple, but none of them actually did. Just when they were thinking their party was gate-crashed, the subjects of their conversation showed up. That couple, Tom (Timothy Granaderos) and Sasha (Perry Mattfeld) still had not left.




Tom explained that they were actually the neighbors, and they had come to complain about the noise but thought of enjoying the party first. After the initial misunderstanding, the two couples gelled quite well. Adam and Margo started to get swayed by the zesty conviction of their younger and more fun-loving counterparts. As one-night cap lead to another, so did friendliness to palpable tension.

The constant booze and occasional cocaine, both proposed by Tom and Sasha, loosened Adam and Margo quite a bit. When the men went to have a tour of the house, Sasha started to play with Margo’s mind. She encouraged Margo to reminisce about her old bandmate and call that guy in the middle of the night after Margo told her that Adam used to be quite jealous of that guy. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the ladies, Tom offered Sasha to Adam as part of a ‘welcome gift’, in a supposed ménage-a-trois.




During all these, Adam and Margo’s friend, Teeny (Tipper Newton), who was babysitting Adam and Margo’s young son, Dylan, embarked on a night journey towards Hollywood Hills. To retrieve a doll Dylan had left in that house. During one of the conversations between Tom and Adam, Adam told Tom how he got that lavish villa. There had been a grotesque murder in that house. An unhappy couple killed each other in front of their twin children.

Who Invited Them Movie Review:

From the very first scene, Birmingham establishes what is at stake. The lives of the host of the house. That creates the suspense. From the moment Tom and Sasha appear on the screen, and the fact that they are the ‘Them’ of the title of the film, it becomes transparent what the invading couple is up to. Birmingham’s script adeptly traverses through various events and conversations that propel the tension to raise higher and higher. Slowly but steadily.




Sasha and Tom’s every sentence, and each action are filled with the intention to pit Adam and Margo at each other’s throats. They start by separating the two hosts and providing a sympathetic ear to each one of them. Then they up their game and start to reveal secrets that Adam and Margo have kept from each other. The usual marital tension and qualms of the ‘hosting’ couple are expertly exploited by the ‘visiting’ couple.

Timothy Granaderos and Perry Mattfeld are terrific together. Early in the film, the couple has been referred to as the ‘Stylish funeral couple’. The couple is impressive and easy on the eye to the older hosts, Adam and Margo. There is a charm in them that would make other couples want to be ‘couple-friends’ with them. Granaderos is the smooth-talking, persuasive one while Mattfeld goes for the wild, uninhibited persona. Both of them always manage to tantalize with their collective hint of being unhinged.




Ryan Hansen and Melissa Tang equally show the collective vulnerability that makes them so easy to be manipulated. Yet their chemistry always reflected that even under the continuous prodding, Adam and Margo are not as breakable as they might have seemed. Shot appropriately, this continuous “Will they break or won’t they break” part of the story is the driving force of the film.

The only gripe would be the undercooked subplot featuring Adam and Margo’s friend, Teeny, in her night journey. Apart from playing a minor role in the climax, that subplot serves the purpose of minute extension only.




Who Invited Them Movie, Ending Explained:

Who are Tom and Shasha?

Even after Tom and Sasha’s perpetual efforts, both individually and combined, Adam and Margo got to the breaking point but did not break. On the contrary, they started to become wary of Tom and Sasha and asked them to leave. Politely at first, but rudely once politeness seemed to bounce off the guests. After quite a melee, Tom and Sasha agreed to leave. Adam and Margo made a point to observe whether they actually get inside the house opposite Adam and Margo’s house. Seeing Tom and Sasha entering the house, they relented.

However, Adam noticed a pair of earrings Sasha had left and took the earrings to the opposite house. Only then did he hear whimpering sounds coming from inside the house. Tom, seeing Adam, pulled him inside the house and physically overpowered him. Adam got tied up and shut. Tom and Sasha introduced the actual owners of that neighboring house, an older couple. Both tied up on chairs.

Tom and Sasha revealed themselves to be the twin brother and sisters of the story Adam had mentioned before. About the murders that had happened in his new house. The couple of that story, Tom and Sasha’s parents, did not kill each other. They were killed by their twin children. The parents were abusive to each other and to Tom and Sasha. This made the twins start a game of manipulating their parents into hurting each other. And one day, the children finished their game by taking the knife to their parents. The older couple, tied up in front of Adam, had known about Tom and Sasha’s parents’ abusive behaviors towards their children. But they had ignored.




So Tom and Sasha killed them now for the elite apathy they had shown before.

Why Tom and Sasha chose not to kill Adam and Margo?

The marauding twins had plenty of opportunities to kill the sloshed and coked hosting couple, the object of their experimentation. However, they did not. Tom said that he liked them. This was perhaps true. Sasha had been shown to eavesdrop on the final conversation before Adam and Margo asked them to leave. In that conversation, Adam and Margo apologized to each other. Tom and Sasha go house to house to see which married couple are like their parents. It is presumed that if the experimented couple could not pass Tom and Sasha’s tests, they die. Adam and Margo passed the test.

What happened to Tom and Sasha?

After killing the older couple, Tom and Sasha left the house. And left Adam alive. Adam freed himself and started to run. Meanwhile, Teeny finally completed her journey and reached the location where she stumbled on Tom and Sasha. Tom stabbed her with a screwdriver, not fatally. The shocked and injured Teeny pulled her rifle from the car and tried to aim for the departing Tom and Sasha. However, in the confusion, she shot Adam, who was running away from the scene of the murders.




Days go by. Adam, Margo, and Teeny all are well. The police is still looking for Tom and Sasha. Adam and Margo still live in the same house. Now Adam is a little reluctant to live in that house. Just when Adam starts to think everything is fine, he notices one of his scratched vinyl records has been magically mended. Tom, in that fateful night, had mentioned that he was going to get Adam a new one for the scratched record. It seems like he has finally done it. By being in the house once again. Uninvited.

Read More: So Vam (2022): Movie Review & Ending Explained

Trailer

Who Invited Them (2022) Movie Links – IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Who Invited Them (2022) Movie Cast – Ryan Hansen, Melissa Tang, Timothy Grandaderos, Perry Mattfeld, Tipper Newton, Barry Rothbart
Where to watch Who Invited Them

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