Thursday, February 19, 2009


CHICK FLICK FAMILY TIP: Don’t get along with Dad’s new girlfriend but you want to break the ice and do something nice? Say it with diesel fuel.


Count Olaf’s foil, Miri makes a horror movie, humpy-pumpy Pierce Patchett, Momma Zombie, a scary lake house sans Sandra Bullock, a spooky John Tucker hater, Nestle’s Blood Milk, an M. Night vata-twist, and Charlie Brown’s Dismembered Girlfriend.

More details here.


Anna (Emily Browning) is a young girl plagued with nightmares, mental illness, and a bearded fat shrink (Dean Paul Gibson). She’s been locked up in the nuthouse for almost a year following the tragic death of her terminally ill mother in a house fire. Shrink feels that she’s making dramatic progress and recommends that she be released. Her Dad (David Strathairn), a successful author, picks her up and takes her home to their luxurious lakeside home. There, she reunites with older sister Alex (Arielle Kebbel) and Dad’s new girlfriend Rachael (Elizabeth Banks) who she greets with suspicious revulsion. Rachael used to be her mother’s nurse and the girls have long suspected that she was seducing Dad while their Mom was dying. Anna has a little crush on local boy Matt (Jesse Moss) who Rachael disapproves of, and when she interferes in their relationship, Anna’s resentment intensifies. She begins to have terrifying hallucinations and nightmares about her rotting mother, a decapitated body of a young girl in a garbage bag, and various chilling blood-drenched visions. Each dream reveals a piece of a terrifying puzzle that points to Rachael’s involvement in the death of the girls’ mother as well as the murder of three children that may be connected as well. But Anna’s problems are much larger than piecing together a Scooby Doo mystery. Dad wants to send her back to the mental hospital, Alex’s behavior grows increasingly odd by the hour, and black widow Rachael is on to her. It’s almost as if she’ll need a sixth sense or help from others to sort this whole mess out before she gets sent to an orphanage.



Ghost stories possess the powerful quality to expose our insecurities, concerns, and apprehension about humanity and our limited time on Earth. But they also serve to present the dramatic conflicts and inner turmoil a family experiences when they lose a loved one, especially a parent. My argument that The Uninvited, an uninspired but effective little horror movie, is a chick flick owes much to the latter quality of such spooky stories. Other than the fact that the movie does indeed star chicks, the film can be easily placed on a short list of chick horror flicks. Based on the Korean horror film A Tale of Two Sisters, the movie explores themes and ideas found in most chick flicks, albeit in less bloody detail, including sexual insecurities, sibling jealousy, and Daddy issues. But despite that, the movie looks and feels like a weepy TV movie, but it’s the cast that really rises about the trite material. Browning, a young actress with a lot going for her, and the increasingly great Banks both do a terrific job of carrying the film which could have easily sunk to the levels of boring badness from recent Asian horror remakes. The filmmakers establish a relatively quiet tone with less emphasis on big scares and more concern on building character, which mostly succeeds. There are definite twists to the story, but even the least seasoned filmgoer should be able to spot them within the first half hour. That being said, the ending still surprises and is satisfying. The Uninvited is a not a pant-pooping scare-fest, but a passable flick for couples movie night when all you can handle are slight shivers and a jump or two.

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