Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Emily Browning, Arielle Kebbel, David Strathairn, Elizabeth Banks
Directed by The Guard Brothers
Distributed by Dreamworks Home Entertainment
Another review. Another remake. Where to begin? Well, for the uninformed The Uninvited is a remake of the Korean film A Tale of Two Sisters. How does this Americanization compare? Is it respectful of the source material? Better yet, at the very least is it watchable? We’ll get to all that in a moment. First let’s give you a brief rundown of the story.
Sixteen-year-old Anna (Browning) has just gotten out of a psychiatric hospital. What put her there to begin with? Her ill and bed-ridden mom died a very unnatural death via a horrible gas explosion, and the poor thing just couldn’t cope. Now that she’s been released, she heads home to the scene of the incident where she finds out that her dad (Strathairn) is now engaged to her deceased mother’s live-in nurse (Banks). Can you say awkward? Good thing for Anna that her sister Alex (Kebbel) is there to shepherd her through the tough times, and man, do they get tough. Almost immediately Anna starts seeing visions of her departed mom, three mutilated children, and the ghosts of anyone else who just happen to die around her. So what’s the connection? Were they all murdered, and if so, by whom? The soon to be stepmom is a great candidate, but as we all know, events in horror movies seldom unfold in a simple manner.
The main problem with The Uninvited is that those of us who are well trained in the art of the twist ending will spot the main twist presented here right from the get-go. I blame Shyamalan. In his never-ending quest to fool us, he’s made us all watch movies in a different way. We’re always looking for the catch, and in The Uninvited it’s really not hard to find. Still, the film is shot well, and the acting is solid. It’s just the tone of the movie that suffers as it switches from subtle and scary to over-the-top lunacy every few minutes, making for a very uneven experience. The casual fan is more likely to dig this than those of us who are of the hardcore variety. All in all, though, it’s a very competent, yet very average little spooker that with the exception of a couple of great scenes you’ll probably forget instantly.
The differences between the DVD edition and the Blu-ray edition are in terms of picture and audio quality only. There are no exclusive hi-definition features, and do I really have to tell you which looks and sounds better? Didn’t think so.
It should be noted that the supplemental features on the Blu-ray are in hi-def, but again, they are the exact same ones that you’ll find on the DVD. Things kick off with a twenty-minute making-of called Unlocking The Uninvited, and my hat is off to the folks behind this one. Why, you ask? Because everyone from the stars to the directors acknowledge the original film. That might sound like something that should be a given, but believe me it’s not. The filmmakers consciously tried to be as respectful as possible to the source material, and for that I applaud them. Good stuff. From there we get four deleted scenes that were obviously excised for pacing and an alternate ending that kind of sucked. With that it’s a wrap on the extras.
It’s kind of ironic that two brothers came together to make a movie about the relationship between two sisters, but I think that kind of bond lent a certain air of credibility to the project. Bottom line? The Uninvited is grade B entertainment that you probably won’t find yourself too mad at. Not a bad way to pass the time. Lord knows we’ve all seen a lot worse.
2 1/2 out of 5
2 1/2 out of 5
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