Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

You got a little bit lucky with me on this one Guard Brothers Thomas and Charles. As it turns out I really enjoyed this movie ĎThe Uninvitedí because as the movie plays out, practically the entire film rests on not knowing whatís going to happen to next, and I didnít come close to figuring this out as it was going along. Well done. Now I do watch a lot of Asian movies and but I havenít seen the Korean movie that this was based on, ĎThe Tale of Two Sistersí and the only reason for that is that I cancelled my Netflix account about five years ago because they pissed me off Ė another story for another day Ė with that movie being at the top of the cue, and then completely forgot about it. Had I seen that movie, still not knowing how closely the two are related, itís probably more than likely all of the surprises wouldnít have been so surprising and thus I wouldnít have liked this film nearly as much as it turns out I did. But thatís neither nor there right about now as ĎThe Uninvitedí as it stands alone, is very effective and twisted horror thriller.

Young Anna (Emily Browning) is a little bit crazy. When we first meet Anna sheís retelling a recurring dream to her psychoanalyst which consists of her restricting the poo from her boyfriend, finding a dead red headed girl in the woods and ending with the real live tragic death of her sick mother via gas leak in the familyís guest house, an event Anna has completely blacked out of her mind. Because of this Anna tried to kill herself a year ago but sheís all better now and itís back home to her dad (David Strathairn), big sister Alex (Arielle Kebell) and the totally hateful Rachel (Elizabeth Banks) who served as Alexís Momís nurse and is now Dadís completely hot as hell girlfriend.

Even though Annaís out of the nuthouse she still has a few issues because she sees dead people, in particular her fried to a crisp mother who has, in so many garbled words, informed Anna that Rachel murdered her. At first Alex is a bit skeptical about her baby sisters claims but when she started going over what happened that particular night in her minds eye, it all started to make complete and total sense. Even Annaís

horny wannabe boyfriend Matt (Jesse Moss) has some vital information about that fateful night that he has to tell Anna, though he makes the mistake of setting up a time for later that evening to tell her instead of telling her right there on the spot. I think weíve seen enough movies to know why itís CRITICAL to dispense any information you happen to have about some bad character or bad situation IMMEDIATELY!  Because that opportunity will not be there later. Guaranteed.

The real problem is Rachel. Yeah sheís beautiful, yeah she has a hot body, but she is pathological and will do just about anything to preserve what she has with Anna and Alexís old man. Worst still is that dad seems completely oblivious to the evil Rachel, but then can you really blame the old dude? Look at her. Iím sure he loves his daughters and all but to quote the man, "canít he be happy?" I know I want to see the old dude happy. Even after the girls dig up the real dirt on this homicidal maniacal woman, dad still isnít ready to let that go. Now the dead people are everywhere trying to warn Anna, Rachel is completely on the nut, dad is out of town and itís looking like Anna and Alex wonít survive the night.

Iím in a bit of a pickle here when trying to Ďbe criticalí of this movie ĎThe Uninvitedí because while watching the movie in the theater I was taking mental notes of certain things that simply didnít make sense to me and how I donít think that this character should do this or that character should do that in a particular given situation. Then you watch the movie until the final frame and now Iím forced to rethink all of that other stuff I was pondering before because now everything has changed. Now I donít know exactly what to think.

So Iíll just say what Iíve said already only using slightly different words because Iím lazy like that. Considering the last few American based Asian horror movie remakes, I didnít have high hopes for ĎThe Uninvitedí but the Guard Brothers have managed to make a movie that is intense, at times scary, very clever and one that youíre probably going to want to watch again.

Itís also very well acted. If anyone were to think that Elizabeth Banks is nothing more that a pretty face with a low body fat rack Ė not to sell those quality assets short mind you, she again proves them wrong showing her impressive range by going from the all out wacky comedy of ĎZack and Mirií to straight up psychopath in this film, and she plays it well. I canít tell you how happy I am to find out that Emily Browning is twenty years old because I was feeling guilty as hell observing what a wonderful pair of lips she has since the young woman barely looks a day over thirteen, but then Rachel did mention in the movie that a nice set of lips is a rather important feature to have. Lips aside Ms. Browning plays this little twisty thriller perfectly, only giving us glimpses about what might really be happening behind those cute round eyes and the secrets that are locked away inside her beautiful little seaside home.

Again this a movie that when it comes out on DVD Iíd really be interested in seeing again to see what I missed that I shouldnít have, and itís this that ultimately made ĎThe Uninvitedí so surprisingly entertaining. I havenít seen the original, and I donít think I will because this one has probably ruined it for me, but Iím not to upset settling for this high quality copy.

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