i had to tell myself walking into THE UNINVITED that i would not compare it to A TALE OF TWO SISTERS. i had to say it over and over. maybe 15 times. and now i will tell myself, 15 times again, not to write this review as a comparison to A TALE OF TWO SISTERS. i will only say this: A TALE OF TWO SISTERS made my top 5 of ’08 list. i watched it three times in a single day. of course, any asian original will triumph over the american remake - that’s just a scientific fact. so, with that said, let’s focus on THE UNINVITED.
frankly, i loved this film. plum loved it. and i can't wait to see it again in the theatre. in fact, i think this might be the best "i-see-dead-people" flick since THE SIXTH SENSE. whoa! that's right, people: i just said that. that just happened. she-bang.
what we have in THE UNINVITED is a story about two sisters who recently lost their mother in a freak boathouse explosion accident. the younger sister has been away in a mental ward dealing with the trauma of the experience. the film starts with her coming home to reunite with the family. still, months after the accident, the grief is outstanding, even though they live on a lake and can go dipping off the dock any ol' time they see fit. and they do. they swim a lot. but to make matters worse, dad has already shacked up with the hottie hospice nurse: the same hottie hospice nurse that was supposed to be watching mom when mom got blown up in the freak boathouse explosion. now the sisters fear their new mom is out to hypodermically sedate them and dice them up into ham chunks. the younger girl even sees little ghost kids who reveal to her that they got chopped up by the hottie hospice nurse back when she was a naughty nanny trying to hook up with their dad. the girls, utterly convinced by the ghost kids, stumble upon concrete evidence that stepmommy dearest is out for them: a pearl necklace belonging to the dead kids' mother. the goal then becomes to steal the necklace, expose the stepmom as the murderous nanny, or kill her trying. however, as all the narrative pearls fall in place, we find out that appearances are certainly deceiving and even boathouses can reimplode on a young girl's memory.
i ask you: what is not to love about this film? i jumped. i squealed. i grabbed nathan's arm. i bemoaned seeing a PG-13 film before bryan, texas curfew. all in all, i was pleasantly surprised that america pulled off the un-american: they reinterpreted an ancient asian folktale beautifully. and they made me glad to have actually spent my capital to gain it.
also, this emily browning - the loopy younger sister receiving the lipstick above - is no joke. seriously.
i easily give THE UNINVITED, void of all comparisons to the original, 4 shivering garbage bags out of 5. this one is well worth the ride.
(i'm working up the courage to write about character development in this film, but i know if i do it'll cause a genderific gussy of a fuss. so i'll refrain for now. just stay tuned. i might wheel around with some cinematically brilliant literary jewels.)