"The Uninvited" DVD Review

A few months ago on the podcast we reviewed the American remake of "A Tale of Two Sisters", retitled as "The Uninvited". I handled the review for the site, and although it wasn't perfect, I really enjoyed what I saw:

In many ways "The Uninvited" seems a bit late to the party. We're nearly a year removed from the theatrical debut of the remake of "The Eye" starring Jessica Alba, when I triumphantly declared to anyone who would listen, "the Asian horror remake craze is dead!" It seemed logical at the time. American audiences were drawing tired of the ghost movie cliches and the decreasingly scary images being thrown at us, and one had to think that the studios were losing interest due to the diminishing returns. In that context it's unfortunate that "The Uninvited" is showing up so late in the cycle, because although problematic in a few areas, it more than serves as a breath of fresh air in a tired, tired subgenre.

I've got my hands on the DVD here, which streets April 28th. I just gave the Special features a gander, so let's see if this one's worth a purchase.


ALTERNATE ENDING

The "Alternate Ending" picks up immediately after the big "twist" of the finale, where Anna - now back in the mental hospital - re-encounters her tormentor from the beginning of the film. Because it occurs after the twist, it doesn't actually change your understanding of what transpired. It's a tad disappointing, only featuring some altered dialog from what ultimately ended up on screen.


UNLOCKING THE UNINVITED
The Guard Brothers, directors of "The Uninvited"

This is a great little featurette for a number of reasons. At 20 minutes, it does a decent job of hitting all aspects of production. As horror fans, we often wonder why a film was remade, or what was going through the Producer's head when they chose that certain title. Given how much this story was changed from the original Korean version, it's pretty fascinating here to listen to the directors and producer discuss the mindset.

The Brothers Guard, who directed the picture together, seem like very genuine guys who have a great love of simple, old-school horror. The Producer, who was the guiding hand in reshaping the story, interestingly explains how they wanted to take the core story and go in their own direction, attempting to craft a slightly less ambiguous film in the process. If you read between the lines you might come up with "we dumbed this down for Western audiences", and let's face it you're probably not stretching if you say that. Still, it's an interesting look into the behind the scenes decisions that led the film to where it ultimately ended up.

It does devolve at one point into the usual butt-kissing nature that these things can take on, where everyone is talking about how much of a genius everyone was who worked on the film. Still though, it's a pretty non-offensive feature and in my opinion, definitely more interesting than I was expecting.


DELETED SCENES
Hey, eyes up here, buddy

Nothing mind-shattering contained here. "ANNA ARRIVING HOME" is literally a few extra shots of "Anna Arriving Home". "GIRLS AT DOCK" features a few snippets of extra dialog after the sisters have a confrontation with Rachel in the kitchen towards the beginning. "RACHEL CHANGES ANNA'S SHEETS" is a scene deleted altogether, of Rachel (Elizabeth Banks) changing Anna's bed-sheets and the two having an argument. This one's great if you enjoy awkward menstrual talk. "ANNA PACKS HER BAGS" occurs one scene later and is another one that was cut altogether. Just before the dinner party, Anna starts to pack her bags and threatens to run away. Again, all of these were good cuts. Let's just be thankful they didn't throw all of it back in and call it an "Unrated Director's Cut".


THE VERDICT

I'm not sure if anyone is going to listen to me when I say this, but this is a pretty solid entry into the "A-Horror Remake" subgenre of American horror, especially considering the fact that most of its brethren are atrocious. For those with squeamish significant others who aren't that into horror, this might actually be a good one for a couple to watch together, as it has enough of both sides of the horror coin to possibly please divergent movie tastes. If you saw it in the theater and liked it, I would recommend the DVD. If you're new to the whole thing, rent it first and see before deciding on a purchase.

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