When Anna (Emily Browning) gets released from a mental institution, she figures she’s able to cope with the tragic death of her mother. You see, her mother died when Anna’s giant boathouse (or carriage house or guest house or whatever the hell it is) inexplicably blew up with her mother in it. Unfortunately, Anna doesn’t really understand the true nature of her problem. It’s not that her mother is dead. It’s that she had a giant boathouse in which her mother could get blown up.
Anna and her sister Alex (Arielle Kebbel) and their father, Steven (David Strathairn) live in some oasis next to a lake where there’s a main estate and then some giant extra house next to the lake, which is where Anna’s mother explodes, which is why I ask my tree falls in the forest question: “If you don’t have a boat house in the middle of nowhere and it explodes, does anybody hear it?” Basically, if you don’t have the social conceit to build the fucking boathouse in the first place, then you shift the chances that your invalid mother will explode in it to very near zero.
You’re probably wondering what precisely the “uninvited” is. Originally, I thought it was food. You see, the first time we see Anna and Alex lounging about their dock in their bathing suits, you think you’re watching some kind of emaciated zombie flick where the undead Alex tears an arm off her unsuspecting sister and proceeds to golf club some stuffed animal into the water except that her sister’s arm snaps in half from the torque of the swing because the fucking thing has the circumference of a piece of fucking twine.
Seriously, where do they get these girls? If they tried to fly to Ethiopia they wouldn’t be allowed in due to malnourishment. Normally, in a film like this one where titillating the audience is of primary concern and nubile teenage girls are walking about nearly naked either in swim clothes or nighties, their nipples are usually poking through their tops at every given opportunity. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen in this film because, I assume, Anna and Alex’s nipples are inverted because their bodies ARE FEEDING ON THEMSELVES.
Stylistically, “The Uninvited” has all the originality of a Catholic wedding. Seriously, one now goes back in the history of the PG-13 horror genre and wonders how the hell directors got along before the Japanese came by and introduced the idea of things moving inside garbage bags and pale little fucked up children haunting our dreams by staring at us funny and moving like some video game character whose console has a motherboard with a short circuit. Oh dear, whatever did we do prior to the body in a garbage bag scenario? Answer: R-ratings assholes.
And oh how I’m tiring of the movie that tells its story from the point-of-view of a character whose mental stability is questionable because inevitably the world as they see it isn’t really the world as it is. Such storytelling indulgences basically allow the director to do whatever the hell they want. In “The Uninvited”, Anna thinks that dad’s new squeeze, Rachael (Elizabeth Banks), is out to get them. How could Elizabeth Banks be out to get anyone? Nice casting. Banks looks as likely to put a gun in her own mouth before she’d step on an ant.
As if all this pretension wasn’t enough, when the credits rolled I got an eyeful of the directing credit, which read: The Brothers Guard. Who? Seriously? You direct some hack piece of PG-13 horror trash and suddenly you’re calling your directing duo “The Brothers Guard”. I get it. You’re two brothers with the last name Guard AND YOU’RE FUCKING COOL! Sure, the Wachowski brothers got away with this shit for a little while until they did the third “Matrix” movie and then everybody started laughing in their faces. A movie credit should read like a dinner reservation. Try telling the maitre d that you’re the “Brothers Guard” and after he’s pocketed your five-dollar bill and kicked you in the stones and left you writhing in the middle of the restaurant floor perhaps you’ll reconsider rejoining the human race with a regular name.
So, in a nutshell: “The Uninvited” – pretentious shit.
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