DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Darkmatters Review - The Uninvited

The Uninvited (15)

Dir. The Guard Brothers

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

The Uninvited is a spook-em-up U.S. remake of the creepy 2003 Korean horror ‘A Tale Of Two Sisters’. Glossy, sexy and blessed with some seriously unnerving moments this is basically a perfect Friday night fright-fest for those who aren’t looking for anything too groundbreaking.

Directing team Charles and Thomas Guard (who called themselves ‘The Guard Brothers’) go for a fairly straightforward ghost story that telling the tale of an evil stepmother vs cute teen stepdaughters. So we have Anna (Emily ‘Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events’ Browning) who returns home to find out that her dubious writer father (David Strathairn) has shacked up with her deceased mother's nurse Rachael (Elizabeth ‘Role Models’ Banks).

Anna and her hot-to-trot sister Alex (Arielle ‘The Grudge 2’ Kebbel), who packs a bitchy teenage attitude and seems to wear a bikini throughout the entire film, become convinced that Rachael did away with their invalid mum. This charge seems to be backed up by the creeping dread that seeps through their New England home, where ghostly children pop up to scare viewers / warn the sisters that they are next on the target list for the chop. Will the girls outwit their blonde Hannibal Lecture like stepmother or will the body count rise by two before the obligatory chilling twist climax?

"if we sit here looking cute - surely no harm can come to us!?"

Did I mention there are some decent jolt-scare moments along the way? Although they are generally telegraphed from a mile away, the audience I saw this with were shrieking and jumping impressively enough. Banks does a great crocodile smile and plays the evil stepmother well, whilst Kebbel and Browning are both good as the nervous siblings. It’s Emily Browning who is the main attraction here - she’s a pouting powerhouse of emotion and I think she’s destined for great things, look out for her in Sucker Punch next year (from the director of 300 and Watchmen).

There’s nothing very wrong here, but as a remake The Uninvited isn’t a patch on the original. If taken on its own merits it has more to offer than many recent horror efforts so it’s worth a look if you’ve got the hankering for some spookiness. However, after seeing a truly superb horror film like ‘Let The Right One In’, The Uninvited seems like an overly workmanlike effort.

Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: öööööö (6 - Dumbed down but watchable)

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 6
Style 7
Babes 8
Comedy 4
Spiritual Enlightenment 2

Not convinced? check out this review of the film over at IGN- best line:"The Uninvited comes incredibly close to greatness, just narrowly missing a diabolically genius Hitchcock-like plot twist by inches, opting for a stale twist instead. But in between that distance is a world of hurt. "

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