The Uninvited (2009)
US (dir. Charles & Thomas Guard)
Cast: Emily Browning, Elizabeth Banks, Arielle Kebbel
Synopsis: Anna and Alex Rydell return home after a stint in a mental hospital, though their recovery is jeopardized thanks to their cruel stepmother, aloof father, and the presence of a ghost in their home.
Review: Let me just preface this by saying the synopsis of the movie (provided by Flixter) is incorrect and is also inadvertently a film spoiler. The two sisters, Anna and Alex, were not both in a mental institution. Only Anna was committed. Just wanted to make that clear.
There isn’t really much to say about this movie, and shockingly there is very little to complain about. I think Elizabeth Banks did a great job as the “evil” step-mom, and I think the sisters did a fairly decent job as well (albeit with a slightly cheesy moment where the girls play detective and try to research their step-mom’s past). There were many obvious deviations from the original Korean movie “A Tale of Two Sisters”, but I think this remake captures the essence of the original in its own unique way. A lot of the tension from the original is sadly missing, and pretty much all the surrealistic moments are removed to make a more plausible story-line that would appeal to a North-American audience. Other-wise, it’s really not bad. The older sister is sadly made to be a bit of a skank (don’t recall that in the original) and the step-mother is made to be more of a vicious home-wrecker (she bangs the dad while the mom is dying in the guesthouse). Ultimately, the story pretty much follows the same structure as “A Tale of Two Sisters” and even re-uses the whole creepy “moving bag” sequences. This is likely one of the better horror films aimed to a tween/teen audience, and I think it succeeds at appealing to both a teenage age group and an older audience. I suppose my only qualm with this movie is that it lacks a lot of horror elements. It’s more of a psychological thriller than anything really. There isn’t a lot of gore or violence, and even scenes with the ghost/haunted house seem very dimmed down. This is pretty much the Budweiser Light of horror movies. Worth a watch.