Friday 23 July 2010

Movie Review: The Uninvited (2009)

In a genre that rarely offers anything new, this adaptation of a South Korean film is refreshing. The Uninvited is successful at blending an attractive mix of psychological-driven suspense with some sprinklings of horror

Anna (Emily Browning), a young teenager, leaves the psyche ward and returns home 10 months after suffering a trauma due to a fire that killed her sick mother. She finds her Dad in a relationship with her dead mom's nurse Rachel (Elizabeth Banks). Anna and her older sister Alex (Arielle Kebbel) soon start to suspect that Rachel is a lot more sinister than she seems.

The Uninvited is helped by eminently watchable performances from Browning, Kebbel and Banks. All three are successful at portraying multi-dimensional women who are hiding something just slightly evil, either intentionally or not. Browning as the young teen struggling with her return home has the toughest assignment, and pulls it off. Particularly successful are scenes where her Anna comes face to face with pure evil: Anna demonstrates a combination of terror and courage that triumphantly avoids most cliches of the genre.

The Guard Brothers direct with an energetic sense of rhythm, keeping the tension steady while alternating between scenes of all-out horror and scenes of psychological suspense. And for the most part they keep the plot twists properly concealed.

In the mostly recycled world of horror movies, The Uninvited proves to be a most welcome guest.

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