All clues to Walter's true identity in the invitation
While Walter's true identity and origins aren't revealed until the invitation's big twist, this supernatural thriller does provide some clues.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Invitation (2022).
^ Walter's true identity seems unexpected in The Invitation's finale, but savvy viewers can guess the twist early thanks to a few important hints. "The Invitation"'s story of a young heroine seduced by a wealthy mysterious suitor might seem familiar, but not every viewer will catch the thriller's supernatural turn. However, anyone familiar with Bram Stoker's vampires should be aware of The Invitation's final revelation early on.
Like "The Menu," another subversive 2022 horror film, "The Invitation" drops its working-class heroine into a remote, isolated setting populated by upper-class snobs. However, the invitation adds a supernatural twist to the proceedings when it is revealed in the final scene that heroine Evie's seemingly alluring suitor, Walter, is a vampire loosely based on Dracula. While this may seem like a big turn, there are a few clues leading up to the big reveal, from the location of his country estate to the name of the estate, to the statues that stand out throughout, to the names of other characters.
Not only does Dracula land in Whitby after his voyage to England in the original book, but the town is also home to real-life author Bram Stoker, who wrote Fiction. Some of the nods to Dracula in "The Invitation" don't make sense (such as the evil collaborator named after the famous vampire's nemesis), but Whitby's choice is one of the earliest nods to the film's main inspiration. However, Whitby might have been a coincidental location were it not for some clues and hints later on.
The Location Of Walter's Family Home
Although it is never explicitly mentioned in the novel as Carfax Abbey (Stoker simply called it Carfax), Carfax Abbey is the name of the estate Dracula purchased in England. In The Invitation, Evie is welcomed to New Carfax Abbey, a fairly minor title change that barely obscures the location's obvious inspiration. At this point, many readers of classic horror fiction have probably already guessed the twist. However, since the villains in The Invitation (like vampires in Twilight) can move around in broad daylight, this provides a convenient misdirection for viewers who suspect they're vampires.
The Names of Walter's Estate
In The Invitation's clever tribute to Dracula, the statue at the entrance to the Walter family estate cleverly reverses the ending of Stoker's novel. St George is traditionally depicted slaying a dragon, an image closely associated with British nationals identity. In Walter's statue, the dragon stands above the armored knight, implying that the beast defeated the chivalrous hero. The implication here is that rather than being defeated by Van Helsing and company upon his arrival in England, Dracula prevailed in an invited world and has managed to take over more and more countries since then.
The Statue In Walter's Home
Although "The Invitation" is plagued by some of the worst English accents since Bram Stoker's Dracula, the movie still pays some nods to Stoker's original novel Just nod. For example, one of Walter's brides is named Lucy, and her character bears the same name as Dracula. In the original novels, Lucy was the beautiful but doomed friend of Mina Harker, became Dracula's first victim when he arrived in England, and was eventually killed by Van Helsing and her former suitors die. In "The Invitation," Lucy is one of Walter's brides, and she's still the beautiful blonde from the original book.
The Invitation's Character Names
Here, however, Lucy ends up helping the heroine escape because she wants to die so that she, too, can escape the tyrannical grip of Walter's vampire true self. Likewise, the initially confusing An introduction by The Invitation's Mina and Jonathan Harker sheds further light on Walter's secret. When Evie completes Buffy the Vampire Slayer mode after meeting Jonathan and Mina for the first time, the invitation already states that Walter is a vampire. However, Jonathan's and Mina's attitudes and actions confirm which specific vampire he is.
Jonathan and Mina Harker are the main characters in Stoker's original novel, and together they help Van Helsing kill Dracula. In the invitation, however, they are a pair of villagers hired by Walter, like everyone else in the small town of Whitby. This change is important because it clarifies who Walter is. In The Invitation, Walter is a version of the vampire who managed to emigrate to England and defeat his attackers, as evidenced by the Huck Gang working for him rather than helping bring him down.
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