Rental Reviewer: 'The Uninvited'

Whether it features ghosts, monsters or aliens, no movie is too sacred from fresh critique when at-home critic Denise Purvis dons the guise of the Rental Reviewer and explores the best (and worst) of paranormal pop culture.

The Uninvited

Since I recently re-watched
The Ring and rekindled my love for it, I decided to give The Uninvited a whirl because both are from the same producers. The film received mediocre reviews when it was released in January 2009 - and was certified "rotten" with 32 percent on RottenTomatoes - but did acceptable business for a horror movie and grossed about $29 million domestically.

The plot: The film opens with a devastating house fire that kills Anna’s (Emily Browning) terminally ill mother. This fire disturbed young Anna causing her to be institutionalized for attempting suicide. She has convinced herself that Rachel (Elizabeth Banks in a VERY unlikely role for her), her father’s girlfriend and previous nurse to her mother, caused the house fire in order to kill her mother so she could move in on her father
(David Strathairn). Needless to say, little Anna and her sister Alex are a little tweaked out by Rachel and are involved in a series of shenanigans to try to figure out anything about her. There are some twists and turns in the plot, but generally this is fairly predictable and very unspectacular.

The scene: Of course, I have some serious fascinations with people twitching and morphing (like the spider-walking old dude in The Unborn). The most interesting scene in the film is when Anna’s boyfriend creeps into her window, starts stripping down and then the camera closes in on his spine and you hear it cracking and
watch it break. It’s super disturbing (I loved it). A second honorable mention for its jump factor is when Anna tries to retrieve a can that’s rolled under the oven and a creepy undead girl pops out.
The take: Just like The Ring, this movie is based on another Asian flick: A South Korean film titled A Tale of Two Sisters. But the overall effect of The Uninvited is not as solid as The Ring. At no point did I feel like I might urinate uncontrollably and I definitely had no trouble sleeping. So, you know what? I’m glad I wasn’t invited.

Extras: "Unlocking the Uninvited" is a 19-minute review of the film’s origins with cast members. There are also deleted scenes and an alternate ending. (Luckily they didn’t use that version.)