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Film / Invitation to Hell

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Invitation To Hell is a 1984 American horror movie for television by Wes Craven.

Tech engineer Matt Winslow (Robert Urich) has moved to a new town due to a lucrative job offer along with his family: wife Patricia 'Pat' Winslow (Joanna Cassidy) and his children Chrissy (Soleil Moon Frye) and Robbie (Barret Oliver). After settling in, various people in his social circle start pressuring him to join the Steaming Springs Country Club, which is run by one Jessica Jones (Susan Lucci), who is not quite what she seems...


This film has examples of:

  • Agitated Item Stomping: After failing to beat Robbie's high score on his handheld game console, Billy, who has recently become a member of the country club, throws the device on the ground and angrily stomps on it, breaking the thing.
  • Alliterative Name: Jessica Jones, the owner of the sinister country club.
  • Big Bad: Jessica Jones, a demoness who lures people to make a Deal with the Devil by playing with their desires.
  • Creepy Child: After becoming members of the club, Matt's children become more threatening and violent.
  • Dark World: Venturing deeper into the bowels of Hell, Matt discovers that the people who have been replaced by Jessica are being held as prisoners in a dark version of the suburbia he has just moved into.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: A limo driver accidentally runs over Jessica because he was momentarily distracted by two bikini babes walking by. She then reveals her supernatural side by not only showing that survived the accident unscathed but also cooking the driver by simply pointing at him.
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  • Evil-Detecting Dog: After Patricia and the kids become members of the club, the family dog Albert is quick to notice that there not themselves anymore. Patricia then tries to get rid of Albert by taking him to the vet, so he'll be put down under the pretense that he has a brain tumour and has been attacking the family because of it. The vet realizes that it's a lie, and Albert survives.
  • Evil Doppelgänger: The people that become members of Jessica's club are replaced by evil versions of themselves.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Hell is portrayed as being impossibly hot, and Matt can only survive the trip thanks to the spacesuit he's wearing.
  • Halloween Episode: Matt manages to sneak into the country club, thermal spacesuit and all, thanks to the Halloween costume party that's being held there.
  • Heads-Up Display: The helmet that's part of the spacesuit that Matt is developing for Micro-Digitech features a display that can tell if an encountered being is human or not, and whether it is a threat. Its POV shows that Jessica and the members of her club are labeled as "Non-Human".
  • Hellgate: The strange doorway in the country club's basement that Jessica takes the new members through turns out to be a gateway to a Fire and Brimstone Hell.
  • Hot as Hell: Evil demoness Jessica Jones is an attractive seductress.
  • Kill and Replace: Jessica Jones abducts the people who join her club and imprisons them in hell, then replaces them with Evil Doppelgänger to lure more people into her "club".
  • Pivotal Wake-up: The film opens with Jessica accidentally getting run over by a limo, and then getting up in a power pose seemingly with her heels alone.
  • Post-Modern Magik: To find out what has happened to his family and others, Matt decides to investigate the unnaturally hot room (that's actually a gate to Hell) in the country club's basement by wearing the experimental thermal spacesuit that he has been working on. He also uses the laser in its arsenal to blast Jessica and a minion of hers.
  • Science Hero: Matt is a scientist and uses his technical and scientific prowess to rescue his family from hell itself.
  • Science Is Good: Matt manages to go To Hell and Back using his spacesuit and scientific knowledge.
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: When Matt and his wife visit the club, they find Jessica Jones just as she's emerging from the swimming pool in a revealing swimsuit with Absolute Cleavage.
  • Swiss Army Gun: The thermal spacesuit that Matt is developing for Micro-Digitech has a retractable gun in its sleeve that shoots laser beams and can also act as a flamethrower.
  • Talking in Bed: Matt has a conversation in bed with his wife about how the townspeople's insistence in them joining the club is weirding him out.
  • To Hell and Back: Matt travels into the very depths of hell to rescue his family.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: The inhabitants of Steaming Springs' constant attempts in trying to convince Matt to join the local country club comes off as unsettling, even In-Universe, and indeed it turns out the down holds a Hellgate and is controlled by a demoness.