August 2, 2011

The Uninvited (2009)

"Anna Rydell returns home to her sister (and best friend) Alex after a stint in a mental hospital, though her recovery is jeopardized thanks to her cruel stepmother, aloof father, and the presence of a ghost in their home."

That last post was far too long so I'm going "old school" (and shorter) with this one. I know that I appear to be on a bit of a remake kick right now but it's entirely accidental. I'm just finishing up my "New Reviews" section and these are the only ones which are left before I return to my "Vault".

Anyway, "The Uninvited" was a very welcome remake for me of a Korean horror called "A Tale of Two Sisters" (2003) which I just couldn't get into no matter how many times I tried. I know Asian horror has lots of fans but, if you've read a lot of my reviews, you'll see that I often have great difficulty with some of the higher-rated ones. I can assure you that it has nothing to do with having to read subtitles except that I get easily confused by all the foreign names.

There was nothing for me to get confused about with "The Uninvited" although it does share the same title as a ghost story starring Ray Milland from 1944 (and about a dozen others). It was all quite straightforward stuff with pretty girls and a bit of a mystery. I would actually call this a thriller rather than a horror but it does have some horror elements to it.

As with any film which relies on a twist, telling you anything detailed about it is almost impossible without spoiling it for you. Apart from mentioning that it looks really good (especially the house that it's all set in), the acting is acceptable although the characters aren't very likeable, and it's a PG-13 so there isn't anything too gory or sexy, there isn't much more to add.

All I'll say is that once you reach the end of the film, watch it again and marvel at how cleverly it was done so that you wouldn't immediately notice what was wrong. Of course, some people will see through the film's trickery quite early on but I didn't. In the light of far too many movies in the last two years using the same technique, I wouldn't be at all surprised if you worked it all out from the IMDb description or the trailer.

The stand-outs for me were Elizabeth Banks (who looks flawless in this movie), Arielle Kebbel, and Emily Browning, in that order. All their scenes together worked really well and covered up the secret twist perfectly. Each of these women have their admirers but all were relatively unknown to me at the time when I first watched "The Uninvited". I'm not going to be as mean as I could be but the sisters don't look much like each other so a red herring was that I thought they weren't supposed to be related at all.

Although it was marketed as a horror movie, it isn't really even a traditional ghost story. I suppose if you want to get pedantic then it is a ghost story but it doesn't involve anything supernatural. Yes, I am still being deliberately vague.

Just rent this thing from Netflix and we'll talk about it later.

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