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The Uninvited(2009)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Charles & Thomas Guard

Starring:
Emily Browning/Anna
Arielle Kebbel/Alex
David Strathairn/Steven
Elizabeth Banks/Rachael
5 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Cutie Anna (Browning) is let out of the loony bin and returns home to live with her pussy-whipped Pops (Strathairn), her hot sister (Kebbell) and her new stepmother (Banks). Thing is…Anna suspects that the latter is a psycho killer, one that was responsible for the death of her biological mum. So she attempts to prove her theory while silly looking ghosts pop up here and there.
THE LOWDOWN
I worship the original 2003 Korean Horror film on which this one is based on; Ji-woon Kim’s A TALE OF TWO SISTERS (read my review here). And taking into account Hollywood’s limp-dick skills at re-doing Asian genre films right (The Ring and The Grudge aside); I didn’t have high hopes for this one. Actually before the screening, I predicated what my rating would be solely based on the trailers; a 2 on 4. After my watch, I wasn’t too surprised that my call was right on the money.

THE UNINVITED had a couple of Aces in its deck. It was beautifully shot, with striking cinematography in tow and a talent at maximizing its gorgeous British Columbia locations for all they were worth. The ominous lake, the eerie woods, the shadow laced house interiors… damn! I want to live there! This baby looked lip smacking good! The fine cast also upped this one’s stakes, making the ride more absorbing than it should’ve been. Emily Brown, Arielle Kebbell and Elizabeth Banks gave it their all, providing me with 3 solid reasons to keep my eyes and one brain cell on the screen. And at 87 minutes; this one rolled out smoother than a hooker’s cheek after being back-handed by her pimp. The movie was uber tight (too tight for its own good if you ask me – it didn’t delve into anything deep enough) and was over and done with before any seat wiggling could come into play.

Problem was everything the original achieved this one failed at. The narrative structure was choppy, clumsy and definitely dumbed down BIG TIME when compared to the original. The first film had meat to it, an organic progression and layers; this re-telling aimed for the lowest of denominators. I swear Hollywood thinks we’re zero IQ idiots! Then we had the scares in the house being pretty damn pathetic in terms of execution and impact. Not only were the beats "off" but the “ghostly” apparitions wound up being mucho tacky instead of creepy. Suspense was sorely lacking as well. Don’t get me wrong the film would try to get my ass all riled up, but it kept missing the boat by a yard. And lastly; the manner in which it “explained” everything was simpleton at best. I’ve seen TV Movies of the Week starring Kirk Cameron with a better grasp at storytelling than this one.

So at the end of the “bang her every holes and kick her out your pad” jamboree THE UNINVITED made for a “whatever” watch. A good time waster if you will. But an equal to its Korean counterpart? Not even close. A remake that matches The Ring as to re-doing an Asian movie right? Nope! This one joins The Eye, Shutter and the Dark Water club as another proof that La La Land just doesn’t get Asian horror.
GORE
Silly ghosts and cadavers aside – nothing to see here.
ACTING
Emily Browning (Anna) had the cutesy look, grounded approach and expressive eyes to sell the role. She was very likeable. The camera loves Arielle Kebbel (Alex) and once again she came through acting wise. David Strathairn (Steven) was ideal casting as the testicules-less dad. Elizabeth Banks (Rachael) really sank deep into her part and looked smoking hot doing it at that!
T & A
Arielle Kebbell in a bikini always spells fun times in my book. And so does Banks cleavage shots. The ladies get some fit dude shirtless.
DIRECTING
Atmospheric, powerful framing and camera work – no tension – no scares.
SOUNDTRACK
Funnily enough while watching the flick I told myself “this sounds like Christopher Young’s score for Hellraiser II”. When I got home and checked who did the music – it was - you guessed it – Christopher Young. Another moody and chilling offering from the lad.
BOTTOM LINE
You want to see THE UNINVITED done right? Nab A TALE OF TWO SISTERS and call it time well spent. The original has depth, true scares, potent suspense and a much better handle on its challenging storyline. But if you’re feeling A TALE OF TWO SISTERS for dummies… THE UNINVITED is for you!
BULL'S EYE
The film was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Emily Browning was born on December 7 1988 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Arielle Kebbell was the AITH 2006 Mistress of the Year

VISIT THE UNINVITED WEBSITE HERE

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