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  Publicity Stills of
"The Uninvited"
(Courtesy of UIP)

Genre: Horror/Thriller
Director: Thomas Guard, Charles Guard
Cast: Emily Browning, Elizabeth Banks, Arielle Kebbel, David Strathairn, Kevin McNulty, Jesse Moss, Dean Paul Gibson, Maya Massar, Don S. Davis
RunTime: 1 hr 27 mins
Released By: UIP
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.uninvitedmovie.com/

Opening Day: 14 May 2009


In the suspense thriller "The Uninvited," based on the 2003 Korean motion picture "Changhwa, Hongryon" written and directed by Kim Jee-woon, Anna (Emily Browning) returns home after spending time in a psychiatric facility following her mother's tragic death and discovers that her mother's former nurse, Rachel (Elizabeth Banks), has moved into their house and become engaged to her father, Steven (David Strathairn). Soon after she learns this shocking news, Anna is visited by her mother's ghost, who warns her that Rachel has evil intentions. Together, Anna and her sister (Arielle Kebbel) must convince their father that his new fiancee is not who she pretends to be, and what should have been a happy family reunion becomes a lethal battle of wills between stepdaughters and stepmother.

Movie Review:

Another run of the mill horror production, The Uninvited brings nothing new to the table. Yet another remake of an Asian horror production, this time, Korea’s A Tale of Two Sisters, The Uninvited is a boring affair despite having a decent cast like David Strathairn and Elizabeth Banks.

The Uninvited is about Anna (Emily Browning) who returns from the psychiatric ward having witnessed her mother’s death. Upon her return, she discovers that her late mother’s nurse, Rachel (Elizabeth Banks) has moved into the family house permanently and is dating her father (David Strathairn). Together with her sister Alex (Arielle Kebbel), the both of them set about to expose Rachel as the both feel that she is not who she makes herself out to be.

As the story progresses, Anna starts to get visions of a set of brothers and a sister and the ghost of her dead mother returns to send her warnings and signs. This leads to the two sisters and their quest to stop the woman who threatens to end the perfect family that Anna hopes to return to.

Emily Browning, more noted for her role in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, is not exactly an exciting young actress to watch. Often time, she is left in wide-eyed wonder and very plain acting. This is not helped with her co-star, Arielle Kebbel, whose pretty face and get-up of a bikini for most periods of the movie is most welcomed but her acting is well, just as cardboard. Elizabeth Banks plays against type but she is probably the one delight of the movie. Her opposite, Academy Award Nominee, David Strathairn is unfortunately underused and it makes me wonder why someone of his caliber decided to be in such a movie.

The movie has credited The Guard Brothers, Thomas and Charles as co-directors and they have done a fairly decent job. Having had only a few movies under their belt, the pair of Brit directors have resorted to the cheap thrills and common scare tactics that come with a horror movie. The result is that the movie is more of a snore fest than a scare fest. The twist at the end, as with the case with most horror movies can be smelt from quite early in the movie.

Yet another remake of an Asian horror movie brings yet another lackluster affair. The rate at which Hollywood is churning out these movies, it probably will continue for a while till they run out of remaking ideas. Yes, there are exceptions but these movies are more often than not, ho-hum. And The Uninvited is no different. Thank goodness for its premature runtime of 87 minutes.

Movie Rating:

(The Uninvited is an uninviting and uninteresting affair at the cinema)

Review by Mohamad Shaifulbahri


. The Unborn (2009)

. The Eye (2008)

. Shutter (2008)

. One Missed Call (2008)

. Disturbia (2007)

. The Grudge 2 (2006)

. Samara (2005)

. Stay Alive (2005)


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