In the new psychological thriller, "The Invitation," writers and producers, Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, focused on themes of love, loss and how we cope with death. Plot came after.
“It really was a case that this sprung out of themes and feelings and a desire to explore things that were very uncomfortable to talk about,” said Hay.
The movie is set at a dinner party in the Hollywood Hills hosted by a couple - David and Eden. In attendance is Eden's ex, Will, and his new girlfriend.
There's plenty of wine, loads of food, and an interesting mix of guests, but this dinner party is anything but idyllic.
Will becomes suspicious of how intentional yet unclear Eden and David are about who and how they’ve brought people together. The film creates a continuous feeling that something bad is about to happen yet leaving the audience constantly guessing what that bad thing is and who is the mastermind.
Hay's and Manfredi's other credits together include the "Ride Along" films, "RIPD" and "Clash of the Titans."
With a many comedies under their belt, the writers explain that their approach toward character development is not very different when writing for a psychological thriller.
“In a broader comedy or in something like 'RIPD,' the approach through the characters is they’re all scared of something or they’re all unwilling to let go of something, so even if it’s a comedy it’s probably coming from a more serious place because the characters are all taking themselves seriously…There is some kind of common ground in the approach.” said Manfredi.
Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi joined host Alex Cohen in studio to talk about "The Invitation," which opened in theaters April 8.