If you’ve seen the suspenseful thriller THE INVITATION, you know it involves an incredibly awful dinner party among friends. Dinner parties are horrifying alone, because they force one to socialize, pretend to be excited about your friends’ mundane life stories, and welcome whatever surprise meal the host is serving. So, it makes sense why the friendly get-together would make for the perfect setting of a horror movie. The environment is likely to have a thing or two go wrong or an argument ensue, especially when so many different personalities are clashing together in one room.
Friendly gatherings and parties have made up the plot to several fun and suspenseful horror films. The viewer is included in the mystery, presented the same clues as the characters, and prompted to guess what the end result will be. While these dinner parties can be fun to watch, they’re kind of terrible for the guests involved. Here are 10 of the worst dinner parties ever.
Graduation parties are normally just an excuse to gather with friends and get drunk—if they’re lucky. Sadly, this group of people learn that the host is obsessed with serial killers, and they’re all invited to be his victims. If only the invitation were more clear about the party activities, the guests might not have shown up.
An ’80s themed murder party sounded appealing to a group of friends, until it turns into an actual murder mystery. Throughout the night, the friends are supposed to be playing a game, finding clues, and identifying a fictional killer. However, an actual killer is among them—and decides to reveal the darkest secrets of each friend. Danielle Harris directed the dinner-party-gone-wrong, which depicts friends being paralyzed and punished at the supper table. Because that’s what friends are for!
If there is one thing you should take away from HANNIBAL, it’s that you should never accept an invitation to join Hannibal Lecter for dinner. Unfortunately for Paul Krendler (played by Ray Liotta), he learns the reason why—the hard way. When Krendler shows up for the Fourth of July, he ends up drugged at the dinner table. He quickly acquires that the main course is his brain! Clarice Starling is there too, and she’s forced to watch as Lecter feeds Krendler his prefrontal cortex for dinner. Bon appétite.
Meeting your boyfriend’s family can be pretty nerve-racking and intimidating, especially if a group of bandits breaks in and starts killing everybody. YOU’RE NEXT follows a family gathering that goes terribly wrong. Masked men interrupt the lackluster event, and prey on everyone inside. Except for one bad ass chick, who puts up one hell of a fight.
THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE
This classic horror introduced the world to a chainsaw-wielding, skin-wearing psychopath and his family. When Sally and her friends mistakenly pick up an insane hitchhiker and pay visit to a certain house, they are terrorized by a band of killers. The film has several iconic moments—like when one friend is hung on a hook from her bare back—but, nothing is more iconic than the dinner table scene. Sally is tied up and forced to sit at the dinner table with the Sawyer family, and she’s introduced to their creepy grandpa. The scene is intense, horrifying, and uncomfortable to watch.
WOULD YOU RATHER
Money is an extremely motivating factor, especially when the stakes are high and your life depends on it. Guests at Shepard Lambrick’s dinner party learn just how far they are willing to go to get the dough. Each participates in life-threatening tasks to advance in a game of Would You Rather, in order to win a big prize of money. Throughout the night, the guests are electrocuted, forced to stab each other, submerged in water, and all sorts of other fun stuff.
HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL
How scary could a haunted house party be? All you need to do is survive one night in a scary mansion, and $10,000 is yours. Things become a little complicated when sinister spirits and morally questionable humans are thrown in, but the money is worth it—right? Five people decide to take their chances when they’re invited to millionaire Frederick Loren’s birthday party for his wife. They learn that the people are a lot scarier than the ghosts.
APRIL FOOL'S DAY
Spring break at a friend’s mansion by the water becomes a nightmare when everyone starts dying. At first, the getaway is met with gags and jokes—it is April Fool’s Day, after all—but then things get serious. Soon the friends begin to question whether their bubbly host is really an evil psycho with menacing intentions. Or, was the whole weekend one giant joke? Either way, the vacation gathering was A LOT of work and running around, and what’s fun about that?
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD
Jason Voorhees really knows how to ruin a birthday party, am I right? The masked slasher makes his triumphant return when a group of kids are throwing a party at the worst possible time…like, ever. He kills the guests off one by one—including the birthday boy, who never even made it to his party! Luckily for the friends (who are mostly dead at this point), there’s a weirdo next door with psychic powers there to help! But, it was actually her fault Jason was even there in the first place, so…the whole party was pretty much a total bust.
Question: if someone invited you and five other people to a mansion with the intent to blackmail you, what would you do? One of the six people takes action by murdering their tormentor—but the lights were out, and no one is certain as to who the murderer is. The rest of the party becomes a whodunit, where each guest must solve the mystery through clues left by the killer.