Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Uninvited

Kim Jee-woon’s suspense thriller A Tale of Two Sisters is one of the most Intelligent, artistic, and thought provoking films I have ever seen. An absolutely brilliant gen of a Korean import that when I first watched it had the gears in my head working overtime for quite a while. Dissecting every scene inside and out, trying to piece together one hell of a brilliant puzzle. To this day whenever I watch it I am still left in awe.

Now this wonderful film gets what has always been inevitable, the American treatment! Something fans have seen coming for a long time, but didn’t want to happen. Taking the helm were two relatively unknown writers and a pair of brothers who won a couple of awards once for a small indie film. So what do we get? A straight shooting teen-date horror flick that has removed almost every ounce of what made A Tale of Two Sisters such a brilliant peace of cinema. While Two Sisters is intelligent and artistic, The Uninvited is simplistic and juvenile. However I must bite my lip and admit, if we take the original out of the picture The Uninvited is not all that bad.

The basic premise is pretty straight forward. A young girl is released from a mental hospital after almost a year after her sick mother was killed in a fire in their family’s boathouse. She returns home to find that her mother’s nurse has moved in and is to marry her father. However the plot soon thickens when she and her older sister start digging up information that their step-mother to be might be a fraud and worse yet may have killed their mother.

There are some elements that are left intact, and work relatively well, but I will not go into detail about to avoid spoilers. However anyone who is familiar with the original should expect a far less complex climactic ending. The biggest difference in this version, and perhaps a reasonable reason for the change in the film’s title, is that while A Tale of Two Sisters focuses mostly on the two sisters The Uninvited focuses a great deal more on the girlfriend and her relationship with the father. This is part of where the film finds its biggest flaw, I hate to say it because I am a big Elizabeth Banks fan, but she just does not work in this role. However our two leads Emily Browning and Arelle Kebbel do a wonderful job as two very believable sisters, and do a decent enough job to carry the film as much as they can.

The Uninvited is no more than A Tale of Two Sisters run through an original idea filter, and followed up by an onslaught of American teen horror staples. It shows the odd glimmer of potential but ultimately fails to become anything but a passable date flick. So I end this with what could be the most obvious sentence in this entire ramble. Just stick with the original!


A Film by The Guard Brother

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