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A Zoom Wedding Gets Bloody in New Horror Film ‘Invited’

Published Tuesday, May. 21st, 2024

Poster for new horror movie titled 'Invited', written in red letters at the top of the image. Below, a series of squares are filled with stills from the film, including a bride with blood on her forehead, and desperate looking family members.

Of all the things that could go wrong at a Zoom wedding, ‘cult sacrifice’ wasn’t on our list… until now. Be our plus-one to the new found-footage thriller, ‘Invited’! 



We’ve heard our fair share of wedding day horror stories. Make it a Zoom wedding, and there are even more ways for things to go wrong: bad internet connection, lagging video, muting yourself, not muting yourself (hot mic in the bathroom, anyone?), annoying echo, and… 


… blood splatter on the screen? 


That last one wasn’t on our list of things to look out for – until we watched the chaotic trailer for upcoming screenlife thriller, ‘Invited.’ 


The trailer, released last week, opens with a desktop view of a virtual elopement gone very wrong. The bride’s family and friends scream frantically from their separate Zoom squares as ominous music plays. The bride and groom slump together in their seats, their foreheads anointed in blood, eyes vacant and empty as the video feed freezes, then unfreezes.


Beside them, an officiant in a long black robe crosses the altar with a knife, her eyes focused on the bride as she steps in front of the camera. Her body blocks the knife’s blade and its evil aim from view, and as her arm rises and falls, again and again, the bride’s head falls back in feverish laughter. The tension climbs, and the bride begins to murmur the words of a haunting prayer...


Now, unwitting wedding guests ourselves, the audience watches alongside the family as Zoom squares glitch and flicker out into neon static, unable to act… 


(We warned you it was spooky!)


A scene from the screenlife horror movie Invited, showing the family of the bride watching in fear as the cult ritual begins...

Above: An unsettling scene from the new screenlife horror movie 'Invited.' When a family attends a young woman's Zoom elopement, they realize too late that the groom is part of a deadly Russian cult... (Courtesy of the Filmmakers)



It’s the first horror film we’ve seen set in a Zoom wedding, and it plays on all the anxieties and tech hiccups we’ve come to expect from an online event – with a sinister twist. It’s exactly what you’d want from a found-footage thriller!

See for yourself in the trailer below! Invited’ premieres May 31st through Terror Films, and is available on most streaming services in June. Scroll down for important details on how, where, and when to watch. 


AMM spoke with screenwriter Monica La Vella and director Navin Ramaswaran to find out more about the inspiration behind ‘Invited.’ After years of writing about how to make an online wedding go right, we were very curious to hear all the ways they dreamt up to make this one go wrong…  


Here’s what they told us! 
(Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.)



‘Invited’ offers a layered horror story with a lot going on…


Navin says he knew right away that Monica’s script had what it takes to keep the audience glued to the screen. It’s much more than just a virtual wedding gone wrong: 


“As soon as I read Monica’s screenplay, I'm like, ‘I’m in! This is great.’…You're trapping the audience in essentially one location, or one format, so the script has to be really solid…There are so many layers to the characters, and there's a lot of interpersonal relationship stuff happening beyond the big story, which is the wedding and things going wrong…


It has all these dramatic layers that add to the horror element of it, which is what really drew me to it. It’s not just some mindless horror movie, it’s actually very layered and very effective.”


It’s inspired by a real cult, and a real Zoom wedding (minus the mayhem)...


Monica says the script was inspired by a real zoom wedding, and a real cult, but not at the same time. This unusual combination inspired the film’s unique setting, and the fraught dynamic between the film’s central characters – Linda (mother-of-the-bride) and Jessica (the bride):


“I wrote [the script] close to the end of COVID, when there were still a lot of restrictions… I had been to a Zoom wedding [for] my husband's cousin, she got married during COVID. Just 10 people were allowed there, and so we got dressed up and we watched it from the couch, and it was like a thing. And that made me think, ‘Why don't we try something like that?’ 


…And I just love documentaries – to see how far a person will go for something that they believe in, is just so fascinating. And that's really where the idea started, the idea of the Zoom wedding, and then bringing in these characters… The idea of a mother and a daughter, how they butt heads …It’s like, what’s the worst possible thing that could happen to [Linda] in the situation that she's in? It’s the loss of her daughter, in the way that it plays out in the film…


…This particular ritual, and this particular cult, is led only by women. And it is inspired by a real cult… So this [movie], all the actions that happen, are inspired by this cult that was in existence, that they believe may have a resurgence.”



The making of horror movie Invited! Photo shows men holding up cameras to film and shoot a ritual ceremony scene from the movie Invited. In the center of the stage, the bride and groom pose in white ceremonial robes next to a wedding officiant 'ritual leader' in a black robe and yellow stole.

Filming 'Invited': A scene from the set of upcoming horror movie 'Invited.' The bride and groom stand in white ceremonial robes between an officiant in a dark robe as she begins the ritual... (Courtesy of the Filmmakers)


Audiences will relate to the screenlife format, adding to the suspense…


Navin says that our familiarity with platforms like Zoom and Skype will make ‘Invited’ easy to relate to, and even more unsettling to watch: 


“I don't remember the last time I went out to meet a client, or had a production meeting or pre-production meeting in person – 90% of it is still [done] on Zoom, or Google Meet. So I feel like, first of all, the audience can relate to that, it’s very relatable. 


And secondly, there is a sense of helplessness, too. You're sort of trapped within your own box, right? This is my world, and that's your world over there. I can't reach out and touch you, there's a disconnect… You have a weird sort of freedom within your box, but that's it, you can't go beyond that. If something is happening in the other box, you can't help; you're just completely defenseless, helpless – you can't do anything about it.


…It’s really interesting, video-chat and Zoom, all this online stuff, was initially designed to bring people together when they couldn't be, right? But in a weird way, you know, it can be the opposite of that, depending on the circumstances.”


A screenshot from horror movie, Invited, showing friends and family watching as the Zoom elopement goes wrong

Above: Invited gives audience a desktop-view of a Zoom elopement gone wrong! This screenlife horror film creates a unique experience, telling the entire story from the computer screen. (From the trailer)


You don’t want to hire this wedding officiant for your wedding…


You can’t blame us for asking… officiating is what we do! But Navin and Monica assured us that this wedding officiant won’t be a preferred vendor anytime soon…


“Her name is ‘Ritual Leader,” Monica told us when we asked what kind of training this darkly-clad, knife-wielding officiant brings to the ceremony. “That is literally what is written in the script…” (Definitely not what you want to see on a business card!)


And can we hire her? “I don’t think you’ll want to…” Navin says, ominously. 


Personally, we CAN’T WAIT to see this menacing character appear at horror themed weddings, and thriller-inspired vow renewals! 

Planning a horror movie theme wedding? Check out this sample script: Sweet & Spooky Horror Movie Theme Wedding Ceremony Script

It’s an emotional, female-driven horror story for fans who love found-footage! 


Monica says this unique horror film is female-driven, and we bet it packs an emotional punch: 


“It's female-driven, and I think any horror person will definitely enjoy this film, and [especially] screenlife and found-footage fans.” 



Remember, the movie is inspired by a real cult. Who knows where this unusual mother-daughter story might lead! 


We don’t know what comes next for Linda, Jessica, or her groom Adrik (tune in with us on May 31st to find out), but it’s safe to say this marriage is off to a rocky start…


See for yourself! 


From Terror Films Trailers: “At a Zoom wedding, Linda senses trouble when her daughter marries Adrik. Tensions rise, revealing Adrik's cult ties. A toast turns deadly, leading to chaos with Linda heroically managing the crisis, revealing her family's vulnerability to manipulation and their fight for survival against a cult's sinister plan.”


Where to watch ‘Invited’ and other details


The ‘Invited’ digital premier is on May 31st, 2024, on the Terror Films YouTube Channel (TFR Terror Channel). 


The AMM office crew will be watching, so be our plus-one for this spooky showing! 


If you can’t make it opening night, don’t fret: You’ll be able to stream ‘Invited’ on most popular streaming sites beginning June 21st, 2024. That includes Apple, Amazon, Tubi, PlayNow Media, UDU TV, Kings of Horror, and many more.


Behind the Camera


Headshot photo of screenwriter and producer Monica La Vella shows her smiling outdoors in the sunshine, wearing a crown of flowers.Monica La Vella

Screenwriter, Producer, Author


‘Invited’ was written by award winning screenwriter and producer Monica La Vella, co-founder of 105ive Films, based in Ontario, Canada. Monica La Vella has written and co-produced two short films accepted into over 20 film festivals worldwide, and is also the author of several popular books, including Homeschool By Design. 



Director and filmmaker Navin Ramaswaran stands outdoors in a mountainous natural area with trees and water in the distance. He is wearing a coat and scarf and smiling. Navin Ramaswaran

Director, Filmmaker


Filmmaker Navin Ramaswaran is known for numerous shorts and full-length films, including Poor Agnes (2017 Barry Convex Award for Best Canadian Feature) and Chasing Valentines (2016 Castell Award at the Barcelona International Film Festival). He’s the recipient of many awards and nominations, and was awarded the Best Short Film prize at the 2020 New York City Horror Film Festival for his film, ‘The Remnant.’


The movie is produced by Louie La Vella of 105ive Films and distributed by Terror Films. Special shoutouts to cinematographer Geet Chahil and editor Mike Donis for bringing this eerie and imaginative story to life!


The film’s vibrant cast includes actors Martina Schabron and Beáta Imre (as mother-of-the-bride Linda, and bride Jessica); Michael Lake (as the Russian groom, Adrik); Sean Irvine (as father-of-the-bride James); Elena Zavet (as the imposing wedding officiant, aka ‘Ritual Leader’); Helena Ciuciura; Mandy Magnan; Angela Martin; and Andrew Bee and Kris Langille (as grandparents of the bride). 


Want to know more? 


Follow @invitedthemovie on Instagram, and find more details in the news: 




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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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