You are cordially invited to Dominic and Jonah’s for an evening of fun and games
When mild-mannered young Jonah Carmichael accidentally kills his lover, recently successful rock singer Dominic de Ban, in a drastically out of character violent turn with only hours to go before family and friends arrive for a celebratory dinner party he makes a desperate call for help to the person he feels best equipped to explain the unintentional nature of Dominic’s death to the police – some time family friend and eminent surgeon – the ostentatious Dr Adam Knightly – a man who oozes menace and charm in equal measures.
Despite it being his last night in England before relocating to a private South American clinic as Chief Surgeon, Adam, a man with a gargantuan vindictive streak and a consistent need for victory, cannot resist a first hand look at his old friend Dominic’s sticky end.
He answers Jonah’s desperate plea, turning up at their renovated lighthouse to the pitiful sight of Dominic’s corpse below a huge “CONGRATULATIONS” banner with Jonah hovering near catatonic by his side.
Unfortunately for Jonah, he us unaware that the brilliant sawbones has a seething neurotic streak and something of a god complex and as he begs him to call round the expectant dinner guests to stop them beginning their journeys and ultimately finding the nasty surprise that awaits them on the living room floor he unwittingly reignites some rather petty but extremely deep rooted sibling rivalries by mentioning that Adam’s twin sister and long term adversary Evelyn is also due to attend. With that, Adam’s idea of the kind of help Jonah needs drastically changes.
With the beleaguered Jonah’s queries and concerns nothing more than a slight irritation, Adam uses a mix of mild physical and extreme psychological manipulation to keep a vice like grip on his already fractured state of mind as he forces him to move Dominic’s body and clear up all traces of the day’s earlier bloody events.
After completing the horrific chore Jonah reluctantly gives in to the sedative Adam is insisting he take, clinging weakly to the surgeon’s promise that when he wakes everything will be alright.
And when Jonah does awake it is to the realisation that things are as far from alright as they could possibly be. This discovery comes in the form of the gathering of his and Dominic’s family in the living room and the only trace of the body Jonah can find being the ominous plate of freshly cut meat cooking away in the oven in preparation for the dinner party’s main event.
And so, with an accurate perception of the ugly black joke Adam has in mind for his last night in England before absconding to his new life in South America, Jonah is forced to endure his sinister mind games and low cunning as he drops the guests nasty little clues as to the day’s earlier nefarious activities and continuously throws Jonah into the ring and watches in much amusement as he struggles his way back out.
Meanwhile the confused guests become more and more concerned about Dominic’s whereabouts and the increasingly morbid and bizarre conversation. It is only when the feisty tenacious Evelyn arrives and immediately begins clubbing her vitriolic sibling back over the head with equally gleeful scorn that Jonah dares to believe he might have a saviour.
Clearly impervious to the realm of cruelty and charm that is her twin brother, and knowing all his spite and depravity only too well, she soon puts together a few ideas about his unsavoury prank and the other dark happenings lurking beneath the evening’s gloss and social pleasantries.
With the fun and games ultimately culminating in some very insidious hairpin turns and all sides coming at each other teeth bared, claws showing, the deceit and back-stabbery that’s been brewing with the coffee finally comes to light.
As the party draws to a close, and the unfortunate de Ban family find out their missing son has actually been there the whole time, the evening concludes in a ruthless and bloody three way game of cat and mice with a final twist where all parties concerned discover that nothing is ever actually what it seems and that in this evil little parlour game there was only ever going to be one winner.
© Wild Frontier Productions Ltd 2001