A billionaire by the name of Lewis Findley invites six strangers to his remote island mansion in 1934. When one of the guests turns up dead, Miranda Green, an aspiring detective and a guest among the six, must unearth the mystery. Directed by Stephen Shimek and written by Gerard Miller, Brian O’Donnell, and Jerome Reygner-Kalfon, read the article to see how the mystery of “Invitation To A Murder” unfolds.
The film begins with a horrific scene of a murder in a mansion by an unidentified individual. Miranda Green (Mischa Barton), who works in a flower shop, is seen reading a book in a store and later lauds the detective stories to the store owner, Annette. On returning home, Miranda receives a letter of invitation from Lewis Findley to Abbott Island, who is a billionaire, but very little is known about him. The next day, Miranda shows the unmarked letter to Annette, who says it is not safe to accept such an invitation, and the seal of the letter does not even match Findley’s. Miranda enters the train compartment, and Lawrence Kane (Seamus Dever), a barrister by profession, introduces her to everyone invited by Findley, which includes Miss Lu Wang (Grace Lynn Kung), Phillip Armstrong (Giles Matthey), a doctor, Carmen Blanco (Bianca A. Santos), a waitress, and Donald Walker (Chris Browning), an American journalist.
Mr. Findley’s valet meets the six guests at the train station and says everything will be made clear about the invitation once they reach the mansion. They reach the island by boat, and Sean, the butler, and Katherine, the maid, are introduced to the guests. The guests are taken to their rooms and also told that Mr. Findley will arrive the next day as his airplane is delayed by a storm. All guests meet together for refreshments and make a toast to their generous host. The guests play a little game to get to know each other, and from Miranda’s observation, we learn a few things about the guests, and the mood becomes a bit gloomy. Miranda is seen wandering in the house, and Gordon, the valet, warns her not to wander too far as it is easy to get lost in the mansion. Later, the butler insists that Miranda should go with him as dinner will be served shortly. The scene shifts to the dinner table, where Mr. Kane is telling a story about a case and suddenly starts coughing. The maid fills his glass with water, and Miranda asks her to tell him about herself. When she says that Mr. Findley treats everyone like family, Mr. Walker and Miss Wang leave the table.
Miranda is seen reading in her room, and suddenly the power goes off, and she hears the scream of a woman. She comes out in the hallway to find Mr. Kane, who has blood on the collar of his nightdress. The power is again restored, and the valet says everything has been fixed. Miranda hears a continuous dog barking, and when she goes to the window of her room, she finds the butler making his way through the forest. The next morning, Miranda is having tea in the dining room and meets Mr. Armstrong, Miss Blanco, and Mr. Walker. She tells them that she is going for a walk which only Mr. Walker joins. While on the walk, Mr. Walker tells Miranda she can set up as a private detective on her own with her skills and also tells her about the murder he has committed. They find a small hut with six rabbits in a cage, the same as the number of guests, and they also find Miss Wang, who runs away from them. Back at the mansion, a love affair is seen brewing between Mr. Armstrong and Miss Blanco. Everyone is having breakfast in the dining room, and the valet tells them that Mr. Findley will not be able to join them today, listening to which Mr. Walker breaks a glass. Mr. Kane is later seen moving toward the forest, and the maid comes and informs everyone that something sinister has happened. They all rush in to find the dead body of Mr. Kane and the stabbing weapon lodged in the tree next to it.
Miranda runs to the hut she found in the forest while walking and sees that there is a rabbit missing from the cage while Mr. Walker follows her. The maid takes out the knife from the tree trunk, and Mr. Walker advises Miranda to use her head or else everyone dies. The body is brought back to the mansion, and Miranda asks everyone to gather in the lounge. She then says that everyone has to be treated as a suspect, including herself, and asks the butler to check the body for any information he can find. Mr. Armstrong says that someone must assist the butler, and Miss Wang decides to go with him. Miss Wang hurriedly comes into the lounge and tells everyone that the body is gone, and everyone is bewildered. Baseless accusations and assumptions are made, which leads to chaos. To subdue this, Miranda tells everyone to go to their rooms, meet at the time of dinner, and discuss with a free mind and logic. In the dining hall, the maid breaks down for a bit, but the valet cheers her up and says, “Everything is going as anticipated.” Miranda is seen again wandering in the passage and finds a hidden door on the side wall that leads to a room. On the other side, we see the butler being attacked by someone. At the dining table, Miranda asks about the butler, and everyone finds him lying dead in the office. The valet finds a scarf on the neck of the body before everyone arrives and later tries to arrest Miss Wang as it belongs to her. Miranda threatens the valet to put him behind bars if he accuses anyone of false accusations.
Miranda goes to the forest and later returns with a “blunder,” Mr. Findley’s dog, and says that the Butler is Mr. Findley. For proof, she even shows the inside of the coat of the dead body to everyone, which holds Mr. Findley’s estate logo and also takes them to the hidden room to show Mr. Findley’s portraits. To everyone’s surprise except for Miranda, Mr. Kane returns to the mansion and says that he will explain everything. Mr. Kane tells that Mr. Findley approached him with an odd proposition and said that he may have fathered a few children in his youth and desires to give away all his property to one of them. The guests learn that all of them are Mr. Findley’s children, while the valet and the maid are paid actors. Mr. Kane also says that the death of Mr. Findley was not part of the plan and that he was going to reveal his heir the next day. In the meantime, the valet and the maid try to run away in the boat but are caught. They explained how Mr. Findley took care of them and how his death made them panic. Again, everyone starts blaming one another for the murder, and there is absolute chaos. Miranda stops them from fighting and tells them that the police will handle everything in the morning and that they must rest. Everyone retires to their rooms, and the valet comes to Miranda’s room and asks her to come with him as he wants to show her something.
The next morning, everyone finds Miranda with a detective in Mr. Findley’s study, where she shows them a hidden room. In the room, photos of the guests from their childhood are found, and they also learn that, using a surveillance camera, Mr. Findley was keeping an eye on them the whole time. The real killer is brought to light by Miranda, who is shockingly Mr. Walker. His mother was impregnated by Mr. Findley when she was a maid in their house, but she never received any help and had a hard life. This became a trigger for Mr. Walker. Everyone is seen leaving the island with a future that awaits them, while it becomes Miranda’s first solved case in her detective journey.
‘Invitation To A Murder’ Ending
No one would have thought what merely started as a dinner for six strangers would become a stimulating mystery thriller. The way each event unfolded with twists and turns was really breathtaking. The film not only brings out a gruesome murderer but also an upcoming detective who desires to change the world.