Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Uninvited

Directed by Charles Guard, Thomas Guard.
2009. Rated PG-13, 87 minutes.

Maya Massar
Kevin McNulty
Heather Doerksen
Dean Paul Gibson

A year or so after her mother died in a horrible fire, Anna (Browning) comes home from the mental institution. Of course, she still has ghastly visions and nightmares, a whiny older sister and dad's new girlfriend, and mom's ex-caretaker, appears to be...e-e-evil...muwahahahahaha...ahem...sorry. Anyhoo, it's a remake of the Korean movie A Tale of Two Sisters.

Whenever Anna starts seeing stuff, we get some fantastic visuals. There's not a drop of blood until very late in the movie but the sights are arresting, nonetheless. The twist at the end has been done before but its still fairly effective and almost enough to redeem the movie.

Unfortunately, the movie just plods along, re-enacting bits of better horror movies we've already seen. Though it's a remake of A Tale of Two Sisters, the movies that most readily come to mind are Pet Sematary and The Sixth Sense as it borrows heavily from both. Even if you don't see that comparison, there's another major problem: Elizabeth Banks is horribly miscast. She's supposed to be creepy, even a bit of a scary prospect for a stepmom but she can't quite pull it off. This is no knock on her acting ability in general, but she just doesn't seem to have a real dark side to pull from. It's too easy to tell that she's manufacturing vaguely mischevious facial expressions and delivers many of her lines flatly, mistaking monotone for menacing. The overall effect is we don't believe she had to do much of the conniving attributed to her to get into dad's bed. She's simply the hot blonde hanging around after his wife died; a wife that couldn't give him any for quite awhile anyway. Sorry to be blunt. Speaking of the dad, he's played by David Strathairn whom I respect a great deal as an actor. However, he seems to be slumming for a paycheck.

I will say this: the wanna-be boyfriend's back bends at a rather impressive angle.

Fans of The Sixth Sense will likely eat this up and proclaim it an awesome movie. For me, it was way too formulaic, moved way too slow. Seriously, I had no idea 87 minutes could take so long. Still, the last 15 minutes or so elevates the rest of it, making it an overall decent watch that comes up a bit short. Personally, I'm going to seek out the original.

MY SCORE: 5/10

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