July 29, 2009
It is always difficult to watch, and then review, a movie that is a remake without thinking about the original. This is a lot harder to do when you are a fan of said original flick. However, this isn't a review of the 2003 Korean flick A Tale of Two Sisters, which in itself was a masterclass of dread and terror, so I am not going to reference that flick any more. Suffice to say that I am sure that The Uninvited wasn't made with the fanbase of A Tale of Two Sisters in mind. Instead this was aimed squarely at a mainstream audience. Well, as mainstream as I suppose you can go with this. Fuck, it got a wide theatrical release, so I am guessing the film company wasn't banking on this being seen by Billy No Mates and his lack of mates. Moving on...
Anna has spent ten months in a psychiatric facility after the accidental death of her ill mother. Now her doctor feels she is ready to head home and resume her life with her father and sister Alex. Upon her release she soon discovers that Rachel, the nurse who had been caring for her mother, is now living with the family as her father's girlfriend, obviously making the old boy a very happy man.
Whilst in hospital Anna suffered from nightmares about that fateful night, nightmares that seem to continue on her release. Only now it seems that these nightmares/visions or whatever they are, are trying to tell Anna something. They are trying to tell her that Rachel is to blame for everything that has happened.
The Univited is a nice flick to look at; the setting is gorgeous. The score is decent too, along with the majority of the performances. However, there's always a however, this flick seemed to crawl along for the first two-thirds. Yes, I did know what was going to happen, but that isn't the point. It just seemed sedated to me. The scares, if you want to call them that never seemed to hit the right notes and it just played out like any number of films of this type. It felt to me as though the filmmakers were just happy to amble along until the finale.
Fortunately the latter third of The Univited almost made up for what had gone before as it was well executed.
Ok, so now I am going to go back on what I wrote earlier and mention the source material of The Tale of Two Sisters. If you are a fan of that, and yes I am, then you might be disappointed that the subtlety of that flick was sorely lost in translation. But, as remakes go it's not a bad one. If you've not seen that movie and watch this oblivious to the fact that it is a remake I think you will get far more from it, as it is a well made movie for the most part.
Would I watch it again? Probably not. This is a rental, one off kind of flick but not one that I regret watching.
Rating: 2.5 stars
Review by Jude Felton