Fear moves in
Running Time: 87 minutes
US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 15
Country: Canada, Germany, United States
So, at first I thought that The Uninvited seemed familiar because Emily Browning looks like Shannen Doherty and it all started off a little Beverly Hills, 90210-with ghosts-ish, what with the party and the dramatics. Then I thought no, maybe its that its really not offering much in the way of originalitylike the recent Mirrors, its brimming with one horror cliché after another. Then a lightbulb went on over my head and I realized that, despite the truth of all those assessments, the real reason this all seemed SO familiar was that is WASthis is an Americanized, watered down version of one of my favorite films, Koreas A Tale of Two Sisters. Im telling you nowif you want an actually scary scary movie, stop reading and go rent the original. That being said, this isnt the worst there is out there.
Anna (Browning) has been sorting out her various degrees of psychosis in a nearby institution ever since the death of her mother. Though terminally ill, Mom didnt die from her illnessseems the boathouse she was staying in went up in smoke under mysterious circumstances. To make matter worse, Anna arrives home to find the home she left behind occupied by not just her father (David Strathairn) and sister Alex (Arielle Kebbel), but a new member of the familyher mothers former live-in nurse and fathers current live-in girlfriend Rachael (Elizabeth Banks). Haunted by strange occurrences and dreams of unpleasant-looking kids, Anna enlists Alex to help her prove her suspicions are true, and that Rachael isnt all shes cracked up to be.
OKthe movies not scary. There are maybe three moments that might startle a casual watcher, but really, if youve ever seen a horror film before, they wont faze you. Theres an element of suspense, but even that doesnt hold up once youve figured out the big twistand believe me, youll figure it out.
Its not a bad movie, however, if youre looking for diversion or a little Movie of the Week mystery; the performances are competent, and Browning does a nice job of conveying the possible unreliable heroine. Banks, as well, is both bitchy and chilling as Rachael, and even if I wasnt scared, I did squirm uncomfortably when she cuddled and cooed with Annas dad while the poor girl watchedand really, what kind of nurse tells one of her dead patients daughters that she got through the bad days of her job by telling herself her elderly, sick charges would be dead soon? There are some nice story touches like that throughout the film; problem is, they dont make the overall finished product any better.
It's Got: A convincing bitch, a coherent if forgettable story, ghost kids
It Needs: Less predictability, better cover for the big twist, more scare
Not bad if you saw it on TV, this remake of the much stronger A Tale of Two Sisters lacks any real boo factor and is, in the end, not very memorable.