I went to "The Uninvited" without any expectations or rather I went with low expectations. The horror mill seems to be grinding out endless scare fare these days, all seeming to lack much imagination. But I am happy to report that a stellar cast and an interesting plotline filled with endless twists kept me guessing and flinching all the way from start to finish!
The movie picks up with a young girl, Anna (Emily Browning), being released from a mental health facility, having sufficiently recovered from a failed suicide attempt. But her shaky recovery is threatened by the uncomfortable dynamics in her home. We learn that her suicide attempt was in direct response to her ill mother's accidental death and that Dad (David Strathairn) has wasted no time moving in and becoming engaged to her mother's care giver, Rachael (Elizabeth Banks). Fortunately Anna has her wisecracking big sis Alex (Arielle Kebbel) to lean on.
Sounds simple enough and Elizabeth Banks is pretty enough, with a smile that promises evil surely lurks within. It isn't long before both girls put together the pieces of a chilling and sinister plot that will see their demise. But if you think you've seen this story before you will be as wrong as .well if I say more I will give it away!
There is a natural inclination to say that "The Uninvited" is yet another American re-make of an Asia Extreme release. I was not aware of its connection to a popular Korean horror film but I have since then seen the movie that inspired this American cousin. And the key word here is 'inspired'. It is not a remake. Many essential plot twists are completely different. And while I found the Korean version to be far creepier and an admirable artistic endeavor in color and composition, I felt it was slower and filled with numerous irritating plot holes.
This version of a calculating woman invading and taking over a family is exciting and fun. From cheap Jack-in-the-Box thrills to heart pounding action sequences, "The Uninvited" is a tightly paced 90 minute psychological thriller. Is Anna loosing her mind again? Or are her and Alex in danger after discovering their future step mommy dearest's evil past and nefarious future? Enjoy the trip down the dark hallway to find out!
The Uninvited barges in with 3 &1/2 Red Vines for a fun scare
LADIES ROOM LOWDOWN: Since horror movies are geared towards young adults and teens, I wondered if they would like a movie that was low on the gore factor but high on the suspense. Well I struck up conversations with 2 different couples leaving the theatre and they loved the movie. One of the guys mentioned that he especially liked the surprise ending. And all agreed that it was properly scary! I don't know about you but that's my number one criteria for horror films---they must be scary!
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