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The Uninvited (2009)

PG-13 87 minutes

Directed by The Guard Brothers
Written by Craig Rosenberg, Doug Miro

 · Elizabeth Banks
 · Emily Browning
 · David Strathairn
 · Arielle Kebbel

Review by Reel American Hero (Mike Keskeys)

Hollywood it seems has gone just a wee bit remake happy these days, as though there's not a single shred of orginality left in the whole place.   One thing they just love to remake ever since The Ring was a huge hit back in 2002 is Asian horror movies, which are more psychological for the most part than your average American horror movie.  This time out, they remade the South Korean film Janghwa, Hongreyon (or, A Tale of Two Sisters). 

Thankfully though,  we're spared a shot for shot, unoriginal remake here and instead have a film that's inspired by the original film but isn't just an Americanized version of it.




In The Uninvited, Emily Browning (Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events) plays Anna Rydell, who is just being released from a mental institution after her mother was killed in a fire ten months prior.  Soon after she meets her new soon to be step-mother Rachel Summers, played by Elizabeth Banks (Zack and Miri Make A Porno).  She talks to her sister Alex (Arielle Kebbel-John Tucker Must Die) and it seems that there is more to Ms. Summers than she lets on. 

  The Guard Brothers directed a movie here that's more than just a remake, they put a unique twist on the movie, making a far better movie than the poor marketing, and fact that it's a remake will let on.   The script by Criag Rosenberg and Doug Miro puts their own spin on the original movie, so that it's not just a remake, but more of an inspired by type affair.  And without spoiling anything, the twist ending (yes, this is one of Those movies, was something I did not see coming at all, which is really saying something

 Emily Browning and Arielle Kebbel turn in great performances with believeable chemistry as reunited sisters.  David Strathairn (The Bourne Ultimatum) doesn't really have much to do here as the beleagured father, and Elizabeth Banks should really stick with comedy, as she overplays the woman with a secret role just a bit much, that I never quite found believable.  

The score by  Christopher Young (Spider-Man 3) is quite haunting at times, the end theme has been stuck in my head since I watched the movie. 





    Despite this movie being marketed a horror movie, I found it to be more of a psychological thriller.  Also for a thriller it's not really that scary, and not just by my desensitized standards.  However the movie was a thoroughly engrossing and entertaining picture.  Just the twist ending alone which puts a whole different spin on the events of the movie is something that you don't normally get in this type of movie, let alone the type that you thought you were going into based on the commercials. But in this case, that's a good thing. 




 In a world full of poorly made and marketed remakes, The Uninvited proves to be a unique movie that can hold it's own.  Despite some weak links in the acting cast, and some poor marketing, The Univited proves to be a movie that's at least worth seeing once for the unique twist that you don't normally see in movies.   I don't mean to hype the movie up for you, as any expectations lower than mediocre could be damaging to your liking of the movie, but as it stands, you go in with no or low expectations and the movie is pretty damn good.

583 Words Published: 31 July 2009

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