Sorry boils and ghouls … I know this review is a little late. I’m catching up! Hopefully you’ve had enough Paul’s Horror Flix to keep you so busy you haven’t seen this flick yet.
Let me start off by saying that I’ve never seen Elizabeth Banks look as good as she does in this film. Good stuff.
Well, I know you also want to know a little bit about the film itself. After all, this is from Dreamworks, the company that started the Asian-horror remake craze with The Ring way back when. If you didn’t know already, The Uninvited is actually a remake of a Korean horror movie, A Tale of Two Sisters, which in itself is not an entirely original story, but one that has been made and remade many times in Korea.
For the American version, oddly retitled The Uninvited (though I don’t recall anyone being uninvited in the movie), Anna (Emily Browning) comes home from the psych ward of the hospital after 10 months of rehabilitation after the death of her mother. Even after 10 months of therapy, and no visible signs that she’s really healed (if anything, she’s still having messed up dreams), her doc still oddly says “oh well, it’s good that you’re crazy” (seriously!) and sends her home.
Waiting for Anna, and pretty pissed that she abandoned her for such a long time, is Anna’s sister Alex (Arielle Kebbel). Apparently, in the time Anna’s been gone, her dad has shacked up with his dead wife’s former nurse, Rachel (Banks), and they’ve gotten engaged. Eventually, Anna starts seeing mother’s ghost, who warns her that Rachel may actually be a “black widow” type killer. Together, she and her sister try to find out the secret behind Rachel and what happened the night their mother died.
I’m surprised about what I’ve read about The Uninvited online. Everyone seems to like it, but the numerical scores have been pretty low. Honestly, I feel that the PG-13 rating is being held against it unfairly. Having seen the original Tale of Two Sisters, I can honestly say I’d see no need for a remake of it to be rated R. I’m not even sure the original, given an MPAA rating, would be an R. Maybe for language, but the film is relatively bloodless.
The Uninvited is a really darn good film. The three main actresses all put in fantastic jobs, the writing is good, the direction is great, as is the cinematography and set design. I have very little bad to say about this film. Overall, it’s a little predictable about where it’s going in the end, but I do applaud the filmmakers for actually doing this film differently than the original, right down to the final twist being different.
Most people thought that “dumbing this down” for American audiences would take away what made the original special, but in the end, I think the changes actually help the flow of the film, and actually make it move at a quicker pace than the admitedly slower original. And, even though there is a ghost with long black hair, it felt like they actually tried to downplay the Asian influences, so that the ghost didn’t look like something we’ve seen a hundred times before. And hey, at least they didn’t take a Thai film and set the remake in Japan (I’m looking at you Shutter). I’d actually say this film felt more American Gothic than Asian Horror. It’s a nice slow burn.
If you haven’t seen The Uninvited yet, definitely go and check it out. Good scares throughout, but more importantly a good story and good acting. Plus, it’s got Arielle Kebbel in it. Seriously…do you need any other reason?
No…no, you don’t.
Paul Awesomeness Score: 7 out of 10 (for the movie)
Paul Awesomeness Score: 10 out of 10 (for The Kebbel)