The Uninvited

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Directed by Charles Guard and Thomas Guard. Starring Emily Browning, David Strathairn, and Elizabeth Banks. Rated PG-13. 87 minutes.

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Two weeks after the reach-out-and-touch gore of My Bloody Valentine in 3-D, the splatter-free teen chiller The Uninvited feels sweetly old-fashioned. Sixteen-year-old Anna (Emily Browning), who attempted suicide after her mother's death, leaves a psych hospital and returns to the gorgeous Maine lake house of her novelist father (David Strathairn). Soon she's visited by the decayed corpse of her mother, who warns Anna that her father's new girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks) is a murderer. A remake of a 2003 Korean horror film, The Uninvited is a Hand That Rocks the Cradle type of thriller that's been dressed up as a horror movie. For the most part, the mix works, although the film's twist ending seemed to irritate a recent preview audience. We've seen it all before, but that doesn't diminish the accomplishment of first-time directors (and brothers) Charles and Thomas Guard, who clearly believe a creaking door is scarier than a gouged-out eyeball. Hats off to them, although one can't help but wonder how the great Strathairn ended up in a teen beat horror flick four years after his triumphant Best Actor Oscar nomination for Good Night, and Good Luck. In Hollywood, the horror never ends.

 
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