dir. lewis allen
Perhaps the first real haunted house film, The Uninvited is yet another benchmark in the horror genre. It follows a pair of siblings who purchase a shady house with a dark past, haunted by the spirit of a former tenant who is not afraid to make her presence known.
“This is the only way I can paint you: some back keys and some white, and fingers that are much too clumsy. But you’re in it somehow.”
The film as a whole hasn’t aged well, though its cinematography and score has. The story has been overdone to death in the seventy years since its release, and its special effects today seem hokey. Despite this, it’s still a well done piece of horror filmmaking of its time, and perhaps if the central themes it helped laid the foundation for hadn’t been run into the ground by the genre, it would have a greater impact today. Frankly I’m disappointed; the cover of the Criterion release is magnificent, and I went into it expecting a much bigger film than I was presented with, but that’s not the fault of the filmmaker.
Still a quality film! Just don’t expect to be petrified.
Criterion Spine #677