DreamWorks Video
MSRP: $17.99
RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes

Unlocking The Uninvited featurette
Deleted scenes
Alternate ending

The Pitch

It’s (movie with twisty ending) meets (other movie with similar twisty ending).

The Humans

Emily Browning, Arielle Kebbel, David Strathairn, Elizabeth Banks, Maya Massar, Jesse Moss.

The Nutshell

Anna (Browning), is a young girl who is coming home after spending ten months in a mental hospital following the death of her mother and a suicide attempt.  She returns to find her mother’s former caretaker, Rachel (Banks), has assumed the matriarchal position in her home, much to her and her older sister, Alex’s (Kebbel), chagrin.  Rachel initially makes overtures of friendship, but neither Anna nor Alex are willing to accept it, nor her presence.  Amid growing evidence that Rachel’s not whom she appears to be, as well as her seeming malevolent disdain for them, the two sisters investigate her past.  However, Anna is especially driven to discover Rachel’s secret by horrific visions of the dead that she sees that appear to be related to Rachel’s mysterious history.

And there it appeared, right in front of her.  Dead, decaying and smelling of the grave:
Michael Richards’ career.

The Lowdown

It’s a little touch and go to fill someone in on this movie because there is a surprise twist ending to it.  Just saying there’s a twist ending pretty much gives it away to a horror / thriller aficionado because it’s been done in a couple of instances.  One might not think that another movie could get away with it, but The Uninvited does manage to put a fairly good twist on the twisty ending and overall it’s a pretty solid little thriller.  It succeeds in setting the dark mood inherent in such a film and deftly places clues to said twisty ending throughout that if one has an inkling of the aforementioned twisty ending, one is going to catch it.  And if not, then the twisty ending is gonna fall on one like a waterlogged corpse, which The Uninvited also conveniently provides.

Emily Browning is affecting as Anna, a disturbed young girl trying to deal with the tragic death of her mother.  Her mother was already sick before mysteriously dying in an explosion in her family’s guest house.  This led Anna to attempting suicide and being stuck in a mental hospital for the better part of a year before returning to her fractured family, of which Rachel is now in firm control.  Her older sister, Alex, is the typical rebellious teen who steers clear of Rachel whenever possible and hardly speaks to her father anymore since he shacked up with the former family caregiver. 

“And then he offered to make my porno for free.”
“Yeah, Seth’s really got to come up with some new pickup lines…”

This is also a nice turn for Banks, who morphs into a suspicious bitch and object of rightful scorn on Anna’s part.  But it’s when she starts to get threatening to Anna that she really becomes distasteful.  I give all the credit in the world to Banks on her comedic efforts (and her sexiness of course, let’s keep it real here), and it’s nice to see that she can pull off something that’s a 180-degree turn from what we’re used to seeing her do.  Unfortunately, David Strathairn is completely wasted here.  A guy of his caliber could play this part in his sleep and there’s really not that much for him to do.  Still, to his credit, he doesn’t just phone it in here. 

“Dude, Jesus!  I’ll get you a chiropractor, just…knock that shit off!”

The film’s supernatural element is suitably creepy and pretty well-played.  It’s not entirely logical when you see it, but the ending wraps things up pretty satisfactorily and you see how things fall into place, especially with the final shot.  Just when you think the film was leading you one way, it isn’t.  It does make use a bit too frequently of the boilerplate jump scares, but it’s not an egregious overuse.  The ghost scenes scenes of the mother and another character with a spinal problem are quite creepy; and for the latter guy, I wanted to recommend a some good acupressure immediately.  The Uninvited was directed by The Guard Brothers, and they do a nice job of taking what could have been some tired premise and crafting it into a nice, tight thriller.  The movie is a recycling of several better thrillers, but a little recycling never hurt anyone.

“And this is the Bad Plastic Surgery Thread.”
“Damn, I’ve been seeing some weird things lately, but this is some downright scary shit.  Is that Nikki Cox…?”

The Package

Look of the disc is fine and sound is also serviceable.  There’s behind-the-scenes featurette, Unlocking The Uninvited, deleted scenes and an alternate ending. 

6.9 out of 10