The Uninvited (15)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner22/04/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 87 mins

Beautifully shot, superbly acted and frequently creepy horror flick, though it's slightly spoiled by making one of its key twists too obvious early on.

What's it all about?
A remake of Korean horror flick A Tale of Two Sisters, The Uninvited is directed by Charles and Thomas Guard and stars Emily Browning (from Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events) as Anna, a disturbed young girl who's released from a psychiatric facility, a year after the death of her mother in a horrific fire. Returning to her family home, she's horrified to discover that her father (David Strathairn) has become engaged to Rachel (Elizabeth Banks), a much younger woman who used to be her mother's private nurse.

When the ghost of her mother appears and accuses Rachel of killing her, Anna sets out to investigate, aided and encouraged by her older sister Alex (Arielle Kebbel). But is Anna prepared for what she'll find?

The Good
Emily Browning is superb as Anna and her perpetually blank face is disarming, sympathetic and oddly unsettling, all at once. In addition, Elizabeth Banks is cast brilliantly against type as the nurse who may not be all she appears (so much so that she's almost the scariest thing in the film) and there's strong support from the always-excellent David Strathairn.

The film is beautifully shot throughout, courtesy of Dan Landin's richly coloured, crisp cinematography. Similarly, The Guard Brothers make great use of their lakeside house location and orchestrate several creepy sequences, most notably a suitably disturbing climax.

The Bad
That said, the film is slightly spoiled by a twist that isn't hidden cleverly enough, with the result that even people who haven't seen the original film will guess it almost immediately and spend the rest of the film waiting to be proved right. It's also fair to say that Kebbel's character is frustratingly underwritten, so her scenes with Browning don't quite convince.

Worth seeing?
The Uninvited is neither as scary nor as clever as it ought to be, but it's entertaining enough and scrapes by thanks to its gorgeous cinematography and strong performances from Browning, Banks and Strathairn.

Film Trailer

The Uninvited (15)
Be the first to review The Uninvited...
01 Focus (15)

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro

02 Selma (12A)

David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth

03 Far from the Madding Crowd (tbc)

Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge, Matthias Schoenaert...

04 Chappie (tbc)

Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley

05 A Most Violent Year (15)

Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

Content updated: 20/09/2018 09:43

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Foxcatcher (15)

Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum star in this real life inspired story of Olympic talent, fierce competition and murder.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films