The Uninvited



American remake of Korean horror film is violent but dull.
  • Review Date: January 30, 2009
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 87 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

No positive messages to speak of. Expect extensive discussion of terminal/mental illness, violence, and murder.

Positive role models

No notable positive role models. A stepmother is cruel to her mentally fragile stepdaughter (and may be guilty of much worse).


Extensive horror violence, blood, and gore, with slashing, stabbing, and fighting. Mutilated, disfigured, and burnt bodies appear to the main character as apparitions. Knives and hypodermics are brandished as weapons. A character is seen being pulled form the water, dead. A character has wrist scars from a suicide attempt. Characters manifest supernatural deformities before threatening the main character.


A young man kissing a young woman says "I love you ... and I have a condom." A daughter references how her father and his girlfriend are having sex "three times a night." Lovemaking noises are heard. A brief sex scene leaves much to the imagination while still conveying the facts of the matter. Two characters rooting through a woman's things find and discuss her vibrator. Some additional kissing.


One non-sexual use of "f---ed," as well as "ass," "a--hole," "s--t," "goddamn," "bitch," and "bitchy."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A teen character makes several references to excessive drinking: "I'm working off my hangover," "It's going to take a lot of alcohol to get through this," and so on.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this moody supernatural horror movie is very gory and violent, with everything from mutilated corpses and lots of flowing blood to contorted human bodies speaking and moving. The story revolves around a widowed father whose daughters object to his relationship with the woman who nursed their dying mother; the film doesn't explore this at great length, but it provides a sexual subplot that runs through the film. The main character has been institutionalized after a breakdown; the movie also includes teen drinking, strong language (including "f--k" and "s--t") and references to sex.

What's the story?

After a brief sanitarium stay following a breakdown and suicide attempt in the wake of her terminally ill mother's death in an explosion, Anna (Emily Browning) is going home. Glad as she is to see her father (David Strathairn) and sister (Arielle Kebbel), Anna is less happy to see her father's girlfriend, Rachel (Elizabeth Banks), who -- not coincidentally -- used to be her mother's nurse. Haunted by visions, Anna begins to realize that perhaps Rachel had something to do with her mother's death.

Is it any good?


Another in a long line of Asian horror films remade for American audiences, THE UNINVITED has all the hallmarks and drawbacks of peers like The Grudge and Pulse. There are familiar scary visions, a reliance on atmosphere over plot, and a contempt for the audience -- manifested by emphasizing violence and chills over plot and character, as if enough blood and gore will distract us from the shabby plot moments and the characters' shallowness.

Worst of all, The Uninvited builds to a climactic twist that feels more annoying than exciting and more shallow than suspenseful. The filmmakers want you to examine all the ways that the twist rewrites what you've seen before, but that aim would be a lot easier to accomplish if they'd actually given you a reason to care about all of that stuff. The Uninvited whould perhaps have been more honestly titled The Uninspired.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the central plot point -- what challenges do families face after the death of a parent? How does this movie exaggerate some of those real-life issues? Do you think it's trying to send a particular message?

  • Why ar Asian horror films so popular as

  • material for Hollywood remakes. How does their typical style of violence differ from other kinds of horror movies?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 30, 2009
DVD release date:April 28, 2009
Cast:Arielle Kebbel, David Strathairn, Elizabeth Banks
Director:Thomas Guard
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Run time:87 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:violent and disturbing images, thematic material, sexual content, language and teen drinking

This review of The Uninvited was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written bycheese-process July 12, 2010

The ending is probably what haunts you the most.

I like how it turns into a mystery, but then hits you with a surprise ending that leave you haunted. I stayed up all night thinking about that ending. It could've used more scares though.
Teen, 15 years old Written bythecooldude1 February 2, 2011

for Preteens

it was a confusing movie and some sexual content and language i wouldnt let kids 12 and under see this movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old August 29, 2010
This movie is really good, but it gets very confusing at the end. i would say the movie isnt really that bad, though there is plenty of language, f***ing is used once. the movie is a little freaky at times, most murders arent shown onscreen. Great horror movie, sure to be enjoyed by ur teens and preteens.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing


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