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DateSunday 15 May 2011
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Description

The Uninvited is a 2009 American remake of the 2003 South Korean horror film A Tale of Two Sisters. It is unrelated to another 2003 Korean horror film and a 1944 American film, both of which have the same name.

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Plot

After a boathouse fire kills her terminally ill mother, Anna (Emily Browning) is in a psychiatric institution for a suicide attempt. Ten months later, she is going home but has no memory of the fire. She has dreams about it involving three strange children. While packing, she is startled by another patient who wants to tell her stories. Unnerved, Anna leaves with her father, Steven (David Strathairn).

Anna is reunited with her sister, Alex (Arielle Kebbel). They share a tight bond and a tense relationship with Steven's girlfriend, Rachel (Elizabeth Banks), who was their mother's live-in nurse. Alex thinks they were sleeping together before her mother died and criticizes Steven but he ignores her. Anna describes her dreams to Alex, and how scenes from them now happen while she is awake. The sisters are convinced their mother is sending a message; the fire was murder and Rachel is to blame.

Anna sees her old boyfriend Matt (Jesse Moss), who saw everything at the fire. The two make secret plans to meet but he doesn't show up. Later, Anna awakens from another dream to find him climbing in her window. He says she needs to know the truth and that her mother warned him. His body warps, his back breaking. Anna runs from the room, and it is suddenly morning. Matt's dead body is pulled out of the water, his back broken just how Anna saw it.

The sisters are unable to find a record of Rachel with the State Nursing Association. Eventually they learn she is actually Mildred Kemp, a nanny who killed the three children from Anna's dreams because she was obsessed with their widowed father. They try to warn Steven but he gets upset and leaves for work. The girls try to gather evidence but they are confronted by Rachel who drugs Alex. Anna escapes and goes to the police. Skeptical, they call Rachel to sedate Anna and drive her home.

Rachel carries Anna to bed. Anna sees Alex in the doorway with a knife and passes out. Later, Anna wakes and finds a large blood trail leading to the dumpster and Rachel's body inside. Alex is nearby with the knife. The girls comfort each other, and Steven comes home. Anna explains that Rachel attacked them and Alex saved her. Confused, Steven says that Alex died in the fire. Anna sees she's not holding Alex's hand like she thought, but the bloody knife.

Anna finally remembers the fire. After witnessing the affair between her father and Rachel, Anna filled a watering can from a large gasoline tank in the boathouse and carried it towards the house, intending to burn it down. She left a trail that ignited when a candle fell over; Alex and her mother were killed in the resulting explosion. She remembers meeting Matt as planned and killing him. Flashbacks reveal that whenever it appeared as if the two sisters were together, Anna had always been alone. Anna realizes that Steven was not ignoring Alex earlier; her sister was never there. She sees that she had the knife used to kill Rachel all along.

Steven tells the police that Rachel changed her name because of an abusive boyfriend as Anna is arrested and taken back to the institution. The police ask why Anna would make up the Mildred story but Steven has no answers. Anna is welcomed back by the patient that scared her earlier; the name plate on the door says "Mildred Kemp".
[edit] Cast

Emily Browning as Anna
Arielle Kebbel as Alex
Elizabeth Banks as Rachel
David Strathairn as Steven
Jesse Moss as Matt
Maya Massar as Mom
Kevin McNulty as Sheriff Emery
Lex Burnham as Iris
Danny Bristol as Samuel
Matthew Bristol as David
Don S. Davis as Mr. Henson
Heather Doerksen as Mildred Kemp
Dean Paul Gibson as Dr. Silberling

[edit] Development

In 2002, producers Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald produced the hit horror/thriller, The Ring, a remake of the Japanese film Ringu. They subsequently produced the film’s successful sequel The Ring Two in 2005. Since first starting this new cycle of Asian horror film adaptations, Parkes and MacDonald searched for a project they felt was as ingeniously conceived and executed as The Ring, and finally found it when producer Roy Lee brought the original Korean hit movie on which The Uninvited is based to their attention.

As A Tale of Two Sisters was playing in US theaters, directors Tom and Charlie Guard acquired the English language remake rights. The Guard Brothers studied at Cambridge before launching careers as commercial and short film directors for such clients as Nokia, Euro Disney, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. The Korean remake is their first feature film. In June 2006, DreamWorks announced that a deal had been set up for the US version, A Tale of Two Sisters (advance press materials drop the “A” from the English title). The new movie is a presentation of DreamWorks and Cold Spring Pictures (Disturbia), and is produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald (The Ring, The Ring Two) and Roy Lee. The screenplay was written by Craig Rosenberg (After the Sunset, Lost), Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard (The Great Raid).[1]

In early 2008, the title needed to be changed. The working title was originally A Tale of Two Sisters like its predecessor, but the final title was confirmed to be The Uninvited in an announcement made in March.[2]

The film was released to theaters on January 30, 2009.
[edit] Shooting location

The film was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia. Most of the film was shot at one location, a waterfront property on British Columbia's Bowen Island, a short ferry ride west from mainland Vancouver."' 'Eighty percent of the story takes place at the house, so we couldn't make the movie without the right one,' said Walter F. Parkes. It couldn't have been more important.' 'We Scouted Louisiana, an environment which both beautiful and slightly threatening. We had two houses which were terrible compromises, but both of them fell through. We had a difficult time finding anything that had both the connection to the story and the right logistical possibilities.'"

"'But then we were lucky to find in Canada a place that seemed as if it had been built for our movie,'" he continues. "'It was perfectly evocative and suggestive of a family that is both welcoming and forbidding. The fact that the house was within 30 miles of Vancouver was a greater plus than the minus of having to get everyone on boats to get them over there; water taxis and ferries are a way of life up there. In fact, I don’t remember ever having a more pleasant time on a location. Getting onto a boat and having a cup of coffee and then going up the little pier and the stairs we built, it focused us. We were isolated with one thing on our minds, which was making this movie. It was great.'"[3] However, the film's location is set in Maine.

It is reported that a two-story boathouse in the film was built on the property overlooking the water just for several scenes. The cold water is rough and unappealing; it is a greenish-gray that crashes constantly and does not invite swimming.[4]

Filming took place at 48 Eagle Tree Road, Bowen Island.[5] The house was for sale but recently sold for $6,950,000.[6]
[edit] Casting

Emily Browning was hired to portray the lead Anna Ivers. She had originally auditioned for the role of Alex. The film is rated PG-13, and is less visually gory and bloody than the original film.[4] Elizabeth Banks plays a new character, Rachel.[7] Banks based her character Rachel on Rebecca De Mornay in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.[8] "It was very important to me that every line reading I gave could be interpreted two ways," says Banks of her role, "So that when you go back through the movie you can see that."[8] David Strathairn plays the concerned father of the two girls.[9] Arielle Kebbel plays Alex Ivers, the older sister of Anna.[10]
[edit] Music
Main article: The Uninvited (soundtrack)

The original score for the film was composed by Christopher Young, who recorded it with a 78-piece orchestra and 20-person choir. His score features a glass harmonica, and the Yale Women's Slavic Chorus.[11]
[edit] Home media

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on April 28, 2009 in the U.S., and July 23, 2009 in Australia.
[edit] Reception
[edit] Critical

The film received generally mixed to negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 36% of critics (26 out of 72) gave favorable reviews, with the average score of 4.6/10.[12] Metacritic also score the film of 44/100 (mixed or average) from 22 reviews.[13] Bloody Disgusting gave the film 6/10[14] while on Yahoo! Movies Critical Response, the average professional critical rating was a C according to 11 reviews.[15]
[edit] Box office

On its opening day the film grossed $4,335,000 ranked number two in the box office.[16] However, it finally got $10,512,000 for its opening weekend, set on the third place, opened in 2,344 theaters with an average $4,485 per theatre.[17] The film spent nine weeks in U.S. cinemas, and finished with a total gross of $28,596,818. It did fairly moderate for a horror film in the US Markets.[18] The film was released on March 26, 2009 in Australia, and the film opened at the fifth position, averaging $3,998 at 121 sites, for a gross of A$483,714. The second week it dipped 29%.

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