THE UNINVITED. 2009. DIRECTED BY THE GUARD BROTHERS. STARRING EMILY BROWNING, ARIELLE KEBBELL, DAVID STRATHAIRN AND ELIZABETH BANKS. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
I enjoyed this little eighty-minute horror film, although it’s not without its flaws. It’s a remake of Korean horror flick A TALE OF TWO SISTERS, which I haven’t actually seen yet but it’s supposed to be quite scary. THE UNINVITED tells the story of Anna, a young girl released from a mental institution where she’s spent the guts of a year recovering from the death of her mother in a fire at their home.
It’s quite the interesting kettle of fish Anna’s coming home to, by the way. Her wealthy, successful novelist father Steven, played by David Strathairn, isn’t even widowed a full year and he’s already moved his floozy into the house.
She was his invalid wife’s nurse, if you please, this floozy, and it’s clear from the off that she’s a hard-as-nails brassy tart under her sleekly-groomed appearance. Her new position in life was hard-won and she has no intention of relinquishing it for all the tea in China.
Rachel- the Floozy- loses no time in marking poor motherless Anna’s card for her. She tells her in no uncertain terms that she’ll only tolerate Anna’s presence in the house if Anna keeps her nose clean and her head down and doesn’t queer the deal for the Floozy and her rich new squeeze, who by the way lives in a fantastic big house on a gorgeous island. No wonder Rachel was so happy to snag him…!
Things aren’t going well for Anna. She’s having horrible nightmarish visions of her dead mother and she’s absolutely appalled to hear that her dad is planning on marrying the Floozy. Men…! No class. His wife isn’t dead a year and he’s already getting hitched to the first gold-digging strumpet who can find his d**k with both hands and a flashlight. Typical man…!
Needless to say, Anna is gutted at this news. At least she’s got her lovely sister Alex, to whom she’s very close, for comfort and support, and also her old boyfriend Matt, who apparently has big news for Anna about what really happened on the night of the fire that killed Anna’s mother…
But Matt turns up dead before he can tell Anna whatever it is that he knows. The two sisters work out that Anna’s hallucinations about her dead mother are really about Mom trying to tell them that she was murdered by the Floozy who might, just might, be a wanted killer who brutally slew three children in her care because she was obsessed with their widowed father… I told you it was a right old kettle of fish, didn’t I…?
I was never really scared at any point during the film, and I’m usually easy enough to scare. Some of the special effects were clumsy and hammy and even a little confusing. I was assured by the friend who watched the film with me that there may have been a bit of THE GRUDGE-copying going on. As I haven’t yet seen that film, I couldn’t possibly comment…! It’s clear I need to brush up on my Asian horror, though.
Personally, I have two observations to make regarding the plot and general set-up. Children who lived in the ‘Nineties did not wear old-fashioned clothing more suited to a much earlier era. Also, rich little teenage girls who slit their wrists as a ‘cry for help’ do not share space in a nice cushy psychiatric unit with much older, hardened, convicted child-murderers. I’m just saying, that’s all…
I do like the film, though, and the twists and shocks at the end are actually pretty clever. It made for decent enough Sunday night viewing on my part. I’d recommend it, but not if you’re looking to be terrified out of your wits. That almost certainly won’t happen. Don’t say you weren’t warned…!
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at: