The UninvitedDirected by: Charles and Thomas Guard Cast: Emily Browning, Arielle Kebbel, David Strathairn, Elizabeth Banks Time: 1 hr 20 min Rating: PG 13
Plot: Anna (Browning) has been recuperating in a mental hospital after a tragedy that took her mother’s life. She returns home to find that her father (Strathairn) has taken up with her deceased mother’s nurse (Banks) and both Anna and her sister, Alex (Kebbel), begin to suspect the mother’s death was no accident.
Who’s It For? Fans of ghost stories and anyone who wants to see Elizabeth Banks drop all traces of cute and take on the role of wily seductress.
MOVIE: The ghost story is my greatest love among the sundry genres, which means I’m much pickier when it comes to simply being entertained. If I hadn’t sat through The Uninvited while compulsively comparing it to its excellent sibling, A Tale of Two Sisters, I might’ve been delighted—or, at the very least, less critical. The Uninvited just copies the same story without adding any of its own original flare or even paying any sort of underlying tribute to A Tale of Two Sisters. Therefore, the movie is underwhelming by comparison.
One theme of the DVD’s commentary, Unlocking the Uninvited is that the movie is a tragedy disguised as a horror movie, which is unnecessarily arty and highbrow given it doesn’t measure up to the original—A Tale of Two Sisters is wondrous horror through and through. In my opinion, you should only tinker with someone else’s art if you feel confident in your ability to improve upon it. If you take a loftier approach and then don’t quite make the cut, it comes off as empty. Movie Score: 5/10
Unlocking the Uninvited: An interesting and informative look behind the scenes of The Uninvited, including the challenges of adopting the American version from the Korean film A Tale of Two Sisters, how the cast was selected, and the importance of cast chemistry. The directors, producers, and writers give their take on the crafting of the film. Time-wise, this is by far the largest section within the extras and while it is mostly documentarian, it does hold your attention. The one really cool divulgence is the revelation that Alex never touches another object when any other character besides Anna is around—time for a third viewing just to enjoy that little tidbit.
Deleted Scenes: I have only bumped into a slight few deleted scenes that didn’t deserve to be deleted. These particular scenes weren’t crucial and would have slowed down the story, so it’s good that they were axed.
Alternate Endings: The alternate ending is basically an unnecessary extension of the original ending. The extra footage between Anna and Mildred really serves no purpose and it would’ve dulled the film’s final edge. Extras Score: 6/10
Honestly, the second time through was better. Not that the movie is painful or poorly made, it’s just not as good as it could’ve been. However, it did help to listen to everyone pay their compliments to A Tale of Two Sisters; I was able to make my peace with the film. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it would’ve been nice if the movie actually had measured up to the original.
Final Score: 6/10