In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Tale Of Three Hotties.

With Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch approaching – in sixty-nine days, nine hours, but who’s counting? – I realized that I knew nothing about the movie’s star Emily Browning. A search on Imdb yielded a few titles, but the one that caught my eye was the 2009 horror flick, The Uninvited. This was, of course the American remake of the 2003 South Korean film A Tale of Two Sisters. I remember The Uninvited being out in theatres, but the combination of its bland trailer and my having had my fill of Asian redos by that point kept me away.

Now I have a good reason to give it a look. Err… Research.

After a stint in a psychiatric ward, Anna (Emily Browning) returns home and begins having visions of her dead mother trying to warn her about her father’s new flame Rachel (Elizabeth Banks). When Anna and her sister Alex (Arielle Kebbel) start to investigate, they discover their stepmother-to-be may not be who she appears.

The most obvious thing to do here would be to compare The Guard Brothers’ remake with the original film. However, the funny thing is that I can’t remember Ji-woon Kim’s version. I can recall seeing A Tale of Two Sisters at The Royal circa 2005 and really liking it, but for some reason the only memories I have of the film are the scare set pieces, which were naturally all ported over to the Hollywood incarnation. That said, I feel The Uninvited does work remarkably better than some of the other titles (like Pulse and One Missed Call) that came out during the tail end of the Asian remake free-for-all.

It is a shame that the marketing did nothing to distinguish The Uninvited from the status quo of languid PG-13 remakes like Prom Night and When A Stranger Calls because I think it has more to offer. The performances are good across the board and though the narrative is fairly by the numbers, it all functions as it should. I also found the score to be a lot more memorable than is often thrust out with standard Hollywood machinations. The movie is ultimately still middle of the road, but at least I – due to my Tale of Two Sisters memory blockage – didn’t see the ending coming. I generally have to tip my hat to any movie that can dupe me, unless it’s something like The Perfect Getaway, where the twist was completely disingenuous.

The Uninvited didn’t knock my socks off, but it is definitely watchable fare. I wonder if Zack Snyder casting Browning as Babydoll had anything to do with her performance as a mental patient here. If so, had Sucker Punch come a tad later, I wonder if Synder’s gaze would’ve shifted to it-girl-of-the-moment Amber Heard, after seeing her in John Carpenter’s upcoming film The Ward.

I would have no complaints either way.


DrunkethWizerd said...

I liked this remake. It was hot!

Unknown said...

I have to be honest, I actually went out of my way to avoid this movie. Considering I hold A Tale of Two Sisters to be one of the best horror flick of the last decade that was too be expected of course. Plus, I had just suffered the 1-2-3 punch of shitty remakes of Pulse, One Missed Call, AND The Eye so I wasn't particularly interested in making it a four-square of a disappointment. Anyway, all flashbacks aside, the point I was getting to was I'm willing to give it a second chance.

Jay Clarke said...

Yeah, I'd say The Uninvited is definitely the best of those four, for whatever that's worth.

Although, The Eye did have Jessie Alba :P