Home | Register | Log In

Movie Review: The Uninvited

Review for 'The Uninvited'
(no rating)
The Uninvited
Genres: Horror, Thriller
Running Time: 87 min
MPAA rating: PG-13 (Adult Language, Adult Situations, Violence)
Release Date: 2009-01-30
Tags: There are no tags.
By "Chicago Tribune"

By Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune Movie Critic
2-1/2 stars
There's a substantial twist in "The Uninvited," a pretty fair and reasonably scary remake of South Korean director Kim Jee-Woon's thriller "A Tale of Two Sisters." The twist was there in the stylish original, which I watched after the English-language redo. If one of my film-critic colleagues hadn't guessed the twist out loud, and correctly, I might very well have been taken in by it. But you know? I'll never know.
The Guard Brothers directed "The Uninvited." They are Thomas and Charles, and they are British, and while much of their work here stays in strict stylistic line with the 2003 original, they supply jolts efficiently. Any idiot can frighten an audience with a "boo!" moment - the heroine turning suddenly, only to be startled by some innocent character, for example. Almost any idiot can direct a sequence involving the slow approach to a creepy, concealing object, out of which something will spring or ooze or fly. But the quality of the surprise after the suspense, that's what separates the hacks from the talent. The Guard Brothers cut fast and rarely steer clear of cliche, but they have a knack.
After 10 months in a psychiatric clinic, Anna (Emily Browning) returns to her coastal Maine home to her sister, Alex (Arielle Kebbel), and an uneasy new parental unit. The girls' father (David Strathairn) is engaged to the very same caregiver (Elizabeth Banks) who oversaw the girls' invalid mother in her last days, before a mysterious and fatal fire. Anna attempted suicide after the tragedy. Now, back home, she's plagued by ghosts or visions or some such, one of which appears to be her late mother, crying out for revenge. It's like "Hamlet," with teenage girls.
The script ties the original scenario in a couple of ill-advised knots, and by the final third, "The Uninvited" has turned into a film existing mainly for its long-delayed twist. The actors are strong, however, and Banks in particular shows some skill and wiles in keeping her rascally stepmother stereotype lively.
What do I remember about "The Uninvited" a day after seeing the remake? I remember jumping at the specter under the kitchen stove. I remember also the alarming number of times we see a character approach a plastic garbage bag with dread and wonder. These aren't Glad bags. These are "Aaaaahhhhggggghhhh!" bags.
MPAA rating: PG-13 (for violent and disturbing images, thematic material, sexual content, language and teen drinking).
Running time: 1:27.
Starring: Emily Browning (Anna); Elizabeth Banks (Rachel); Arielle Kebbel (Alex); David Strathairn (Stephen).
Directed by The Guard Brothers; written by Craig Rosenberg, Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard, based on the Korean film "Changhwa, Hongryon" ("A Tale of Two Sisters"); photographed by Daniel Landin; edited by Christian Wagner and Jim Page; music by Christopher Young; production designed by Andrew Menzies; produced by Walter F. Parkes, Laurie MacDonald and Roy Lee. A DreamWorks Pictures release.

Reviews & Comments
CRITICS REVIEWS
Edit this review Delete this review
(no rating) Feb 12, 2009 - Chicago Tribune

2-1/2 stars

(Full review)
USER REVIEWS
This movie currently has no reviews. Be the first to share your thoughts with others!
Movie Theaters & Showtimes
Near:
No nearby showtimes
 
 
Zvents - Discover things to do