Friday, March 27, 2009

Film review: The Uninvited

Director: Charles and Thomas Guard
Cast: Emily Browning, Elizabeth Banks, David Strathairn
Country: USA

"I really hope this works out so you can stay." Rachael

The problem with these remakes of Asian horror films is that something is nearly always lost in translation. It might be a specific cultural idiosyncrasy, a stylistic flourish unique to the filmmaker, or something as simple as setting. The worst thing that could be lost in the transfer is soul, and this is the case for The Uninvited.

Directed by newcomers Thomas and Charles Guard, Hollywood’s take on Ji-woon Kim’s A Tale Of Two Sisters is all a bit paint by numbers. Emily Browning plays a young girl released from psychiatric care where she has spent the 10 months since a fire finished off her already terminally ill mother. Returning home to her father (David Strathairn) and sister Alex (Arielle Kebbel) Anna discovers that her mother’s carer Rachel (Elizabeth Banks) is a breath away from officially becoming her evil stepmom. On top of that poor Anna is haunted by eerie visions of a redheaded girl who insists Rachel is dangerous, though we suspect as much given the string score accompanying her sinister appearances.

The purpose of the ghost isn’t exactly clear though it’ll likely make you jump out your seat and spill your popcorn once or twice. More important to the film is the question of whether Rachel murdered Anna’s mother. The Uninvited is effective in these regards and the youthful Browning is suitably vulnerable and convincing to carry it all off. It’s a solid film that looks striking and ticks most of the right boxes for the genre without delivering anything particularly unique.

The Uninvited is released in Australia 27 March
This review also appears in 3D World


dosebot said...

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Scott Henderson said...

Welcome to the fold dosebot