Review by Jack Foley
THE Uninvited marks yet another remake of a Korean horror film and yet another disappointing entry into the horror genre.
Based on the far superior A Tale of Two Sisters, the Hollywood makeover is a suitably slick effort that boasts a fairly decent cast. But it fails to either engage on an emotional level, or provide the required chills.
Upon returning home from a mental asylum following her mother’s death, Anna (Emily Browling) finds her recovery impeded by news of her father (David Strathairn)’s engagement to her mother’s former nurse, Rachel (Elizabeth Banks).
Disturbed by visions of her late mother, who seems to be warning her of Rachel’s intentions, and using the help of her sister (Arielle Kebbel), Anna sets about attempting to expose Rachel as a potential murderer. But she has a battle on her hands to appear sane.
Co-directors Thomas and Charles Guard have bags of potential to make The Uninvited a much better film than it is. The story has plenty of room for manouevre, while the likes of Strathairn and Banks bring a level of acting quality that the direction doesn’t always deserve.
But The Uninvited is largely undone by its decision to focus more on the teenagers, rather than really playing up the is she/isn’t she quality of Banks’ former nurse, and the younger stars fail to really rise to the challenge.
Rather, both Anna and her sister prove to be insipid characters who are frequently prone to falling to typical horror cliches. As a result The Uninvited feels like a tame retread of not just A Tale of Two Sisters, but countless other horror movies besides, with a twist that’s a little too signposted.
Any potential is largely wasted and therefore reduces The Uninvited to yet another unwanted and unnecessary horror remake, albeit with less of an emphasis on violence and gore than usual.
Running time: 87mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: October 19, 2009