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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Uninvited


Starring: Emily Browning, Arielle Kebbel and Elizabeth Banks
Paramount Home Entertainment
RRP: £17.99
Certificate: 15
Available 19 October 2009

Anna has been incarcerated in a young person's psychiatric correctional facility after witnessing the tragic death of her terminally ill mother in a fire. Now she is deemed fit for release by her councillor. Her father collects her, and they return to the family home. However, her mother's ex-nurse Rachel is now her father's live-in lover and they plan to marry. Anna's sister, initially resentful at being left behind with their potential step-mother, soon becomes her only ally. Together, they discover that Rachel is not who she seems to be. With the terrifying ghost of their dead mother offering guidance, the girls uncover a sinister past. But for Anna there is another revelation which will turn her world upside down...

As the film opens we hear Anna narrating her own recurring nightmare to a councillor, and see what she sees. This is a fantastic manner in which to start a plotline as we, the viewing audience, are plunged headlong into intrigue and horror. The ghostly appearances of Anna's dead mother are paced really well, and come across as feeling eerie, considering this is a loved family member. An indication of acting ability is the degree to which their character portrayal comes across strongly as intended, and I'm pleased to say that I took an instant dislike to Rachel.

The Uninvited takes a leaf out of the Ladybird Book of Japanese Supernatural Horror (that doesn't exist, you know...), with genuinely creepy moments and an atmosphere which lowers and lifts like the curtains of a successful Broadway play. In fact, this is the best American film of supernatural horror I've seen since The Haunting in Connecticut. The revelation at the conclusion is straight out of the East Asian film A Tale of Two Sisters - but that's fine, as this reveal hasn't been overused.

Extras include a rather nonsensical Alternative Ending, Deleted Scenes, and Unlocking The Uninvited featurette.


Ty Power

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