Mr. Movie

'The Uninvited' merely see-through ghost story

Emily Browning is Anna, a young woman just out of an asylum for the mentally disturbed.

She witnessed her mom burn to death and crashed. Anna and her sister hate their late mom’s nurse who has hooked up with their dad.

They think she killed mom.

David Strathairn stars as the dad, Elizabeth Banks (Zack & Miri) is dad’s girlfriend and Arielle Kebbel is the sister.

There is nothing remarkable or memorable about The Uninvited. I saw it Wednesday night and am writing this Thursday night and it’s a struggle to remember much about the movie.

It’s noisy in appropriate places to make you jump and scream, and, in a very heavy-handed way tries to make you believe something is happening when it isn’t.

The twist at the end is a big non-surprise.

Horror movies anymore sit in three camps. One camp has those gory violence-in-your-face bloodfests where some cretin clomps through hacking people to bits in what are considered to be creative ways, though the term “creative” is debatable. A variation is the verbose villain who adds talking his victims to death to the mix.

The other camp is the tepid PG-13 flick that dances around the goo and tries to scare you with loud sounds and things that suddenly pop into view from off screen. Almost always involving a female heroine or victim, they tease and tease and tease about sex don’t deliver much more than a heavy kiss or two.

No. 3 is an American rip off of an Asian horror film. The first few of these -- the Asian versions -- were unique and interesting. Now they’re easily recognized clones with one looking much like the other.

The studios rarely invite critics to screen horror movies. We’re always surprised when they do. In this case, they should have skipped it. Few critics are doing to like The Uninvited and most will find it better to be uninvited than invited.

I know I did.

Mr. Movie rating: 1 star

Rated PG-13 for mature themes, violence. It opens Friday, Jan. 30 at the Columbia Mall 8 and at the Fairchild Cinemas 12.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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