#225 -- The Uninvited (2009)
Directors: Charles Guard & Thomas Guard
I hate when this happens, I really do. I can't stand seeing a remake before I see the original, but it happens so often to me. When I first saw this, I just knew that it was originally an Asian horror movie. But when I looked around, I couldn't find anything. So I just figured I was wrong. This time around, though, I found it. It's a remake of a 2003 movie from South Korea called A Tale of Two Sisters. I've known about the movie for a while, but I never put two and two together, and now I feel like an ass. I know that remakes very rarely live up to their Asian originals, but with this one, I don't have any real reason to say that it's not as good--except for that I just assume it's not automatically. Eventually, I'll see the original. But as for right now, I think this one is all right. It has its issues, but it's not a completely un-entertaining movie.
It's about Anna, a girl whose sick mother died in a tragic house fire. She can't remember the accident, and she's been in a mental hospital ever since, and she's plagued by nightmares she can't explain. Her doctor decides, though, that she's ready to go back home. I'm not really sure why. She was still having the nightmares, and she still couldn't remember what happened. She didn't seem insane, but I don't think that she was quite ready to go back home. Maybe he just thought being back home would help her remember. So, she returns home to discover that her father is going to marry the woman who helped take care of her mother. She doesn't like Rachel, and neither does Ann'a sister Alex. She slowly begins to remember bits and pieces of the accident, and she and Alex are convinced that Rachel had something to do with it. They do some digging, and discover that Rachel isn't who she says she is. They think that she is actually a woman named Mildred Kemp, a nanny who murdered the children of her employer, because she had become obsessed with him. They believe that's what she's trying to do to them: kill them so that she can have their father all to herself.
When their father leaves for a business trip, things get out of hand. The girls are drugged, the police are involved, and Rachel ends up dead. There's a twist at the end that really should have been expected all along, but I think they did a good job masking it. There were actually two parts to the twist, one of which was a little more obvious than the other. It's not entirely shocking, and it's not one of those "Oh my god!" moments, but it's okay. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good movie.
I think remakes of Asian horror have one main problem: that they're remakes of Asian horror. For fans of the genre, even if you haven't seen the original, I think some will go into it assuming that it's bad. If you assume something is going to be bad, you're probably going to find reasons to prove yourself right. I know I'm guilty of it, especially with Asian horror. So, I think it might actually be good thing that I haven't seen the original. I went into it not really expecting anything, so I enjoyed it. Had I seen the original first, I probably wouldn't have liked it. Maybe it's not a good thing. Maybe I'm just making excuses because I feel like an ass for not having seen A Tale of Two Sisters before I saw this. But either way, I thought The Uninvited was an interesting movie, with a few problems that made it kind of dull--but not completely. Emily Browning, who went on to star in Suckerpunch, was Anna; Arielle Kebbel, from American Pie's Band Camp played Alex; and Elizabeth Banks, who everyone knows, was Rachel. So it had some pretty good actors in it, but I don't think they fully got into their roles. Elizabeth Banks was pretty creepy, and I think it might have been better as an original movie with her as a crazy serial killer. But alas, it is what it is.
Okay, final words. If you're a fan of the original, honestly you probably won't like this. I don't say that because I know anything about the original; I say it because I know how people are, including myself. But, if you're new to it, like me, you might just enjoy it.