The Uninvited Reviews
September 3, 2014
A true classic of early haunted house cinema, The Uninvited features the always awesome Ray Milland in a film that blends character development, humor, and drama together with atmospheric creepiness to create a true classic of the genre.
November 16, 2014
Everyone in the village knows the house is strange.
A composer and his sister buy a beautiful mansion overlooking the coast. They hear rumors in town that the house is haunted but they don't believe them; however, when they start hearing strange things in the night and experiencing strange things around the house, they might change their minds.
"It was like a mist. A crawling mist."
Lewis Allen, director of Decisions at Midnight; Whirlpool; Another Time, Another Place; Illegal; Suddenly; Chicago Deadline; Desert Fury, and The Unseen, deliver The Uninvited. The storyline for this picture if fairly straightforward and cliché, but well executed for the era. The acting was very good but the ghosts themselves were non-existent. The cast delivers solid performances and includes Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Donald Crisp, and Alan Napier.
"Animals see the blasted things, it appears."
I grabbed this off Turner Classic Movies (TCM) this Halloween season. I always love DVR'ing these classics (though I missed too many of them this year) and this was a fairly good piece. I enjoyed the interactions between brother and sister and also thought the film was clever with its minimal special effects (i.e. none). Overall, this is worth a viewing but far from a classic.
"It's coming from downstairs."
"It sounds heartbroken."
November 8, 2014
Underrated haunted house film. It's not as scary or stylish as Robert Wise's "The Haunting" but the film operates with a nice Val Lewton influence by focusing it's scares and suspense on the unseen. Ray Milland and his sister, Ruth Hussey, purchase a beautiful gothic mansion at a bargain basement price, but soon find out why it was so cheap. The story isn't all that special, but it's an early haunted house story that features characters with modern personalities and approach the haunting with skepticism. Though what really sets the film apart if the moody and quite spooky atmosphere of the film, which is quite effectively scary. Donald Crisp and Alan Napier also appear in the film, and looking at the credits I noticed that frequent Billy Wilder collaborator Charles Brackett had an associate producer credit, so I'm curious what his involvement in the film was.
October 15, 2014
Good movie. Well written, well acted, and the story wasn't overly predictable.
October 12, 2014
A fine and fun romantic ghost story with some mystery thrown in--or off the cliff if you prefer. Milland and Russell worthy of a Hitchcock thriller.
August 17, 2014
No cheap CGI tricks. No overworked tropes. Not one chainsaw, knife, or chipper. This one builds in creepiness, delivering genuine scares and a pleasing, if improbable ending. I cannot recommend it too highly to those searching for a wholly enjoyable ghost story.
August 6, 2014
on of the rare movies who actually successfully scary at 40's era :D
May 3, 2012
Beware Of Old Houses With Long Histories--A Lovely, Old Fashioned Ghost Story!!
July 5, 2014
Det er vist kun gamle tanter, der kan se noget som helst uhyggeligt ved denne helt igennem tandløse spøgelseshistorie. Er man til sort-hvide gys bør man nok se The Innocents eller The Haunting (Robert Wise-versionen) i stedet.
June 2, 2014
The first film to take ghost stories seriously. Supernatural had only been dealt with in a comedic manner but since WWII began, a certain seriousness made its way into the genre. This was the first one out the gate. It's mood and atmosphere is hugely influential. There are a couple very strong suspenseful moments that we've seen imitated a thousand times since then. Lead actor Milland went on to get huge acclaim for playing an alcoholic for The Lost Weekend the following year. Sadly, lead actress Russell would die of alcohol abuse at 36. Both actors haunt the film's history like ghosts.
May 24, 2014
Haunted house movies are a staple in American cinema, some delicious, some a bit more paltry than others. Around 1944, the genre wasn't taken very seriously, given comedy treatment with otherworldly beings as sources of laughter rather than fear. That all changed with "The Uninvited", which has the visual style of "Rebecca" but doesn't hold the vintage scares lead by "The Haunting" and "The Innocents". It's a pretty but hollow ghost-themed film that is more in love with its looks than its substance.
Brother and sister duo Roderick (Ray Milland) and Pamela (Ruth Hussey) Fitzgerald are closer than most siblings, and during a trip to the seaside they discover a beautiful but rusty manor looming on top of a hillside with gothic elegance. On a whim (which is code for Pamela's insistence), they buy the home at a relatively cheap price. However, it isn't cheap because there is mold growing in the ceiling; it isn't cheap because the second floor is about to collapse - it's cheap because it is rumored that the house is, in fact, haunted.
Roderick and Pamela are sensible, but it isn't long before they begin to notice strange occurrences in the night, including ghost movie co-stars like moaning, candles suddenly going out, and a mist that looks a little bit too much like a woman in a dress. Their neighbor, lovely ingenue Stella (Gail Russell) has a close relation with the manor - her late mother may actually be the one who is moaning, blowing out candles, and appearing in a swirling mist.
While the plot sounds compelling on paper, it's treated too light-heartedly. Early scenes in the film include the previously mentioned moaning and a slamming of a door, but neither is clothed in terror but instead, playfulness, as it is accompanied with music that sounds as if it should be playing during a scene where Betty Grable gets herself into a bit of a pickle. And considering Betty Grable isn't starring and this isn't a Technicolor musical, we know we're in trouble.
Certainly, there are many well-lit scenes of ghastly paranormal activity. The seance scene and the thrilling climax of the film all send chills up the spine - but most are cut short, only to be followed by uninteresting romantic angles and drama that's a bit too paltry for its own good. When it's discovered that there are not one but two ghosts later on in the film, the focus is less on fright and more about Russell's wide-eyes questioning which one is her mother. Sigh.
The star of the film though, is not the actors (although the cast is excellent, particularly Russell, who's innocent beauty is put to good use), but the cinematography. Without it, the film would be a complete failure, but Charles Lang's sumptuous black-and-white stylings are immersed in shadows that hold enigma that is unsettling even when the ghosts aren't around to wreak havoc. Once the spirits themselves are revealed, it's the icing on the cake, the vanilla ice cream to the cherry pie. The scenes that take place at night are filled with dread, and are so well shot that once daylight comes around, the atmosphere set is thrown away and is replaced by forgettable drama.
So many moments of "The Uninvited" are masterful - why must there be so many mediocre things in the meantime to deter it? It provides many of the ghost movie clichés that are laughable today, but it certainly isn't as unnerving as it hopes to be.
|Joao De B||
April 11, 2014
época dourada para Hollywood! Uma historia de casa assombrada, mas diferente! Muito bom!
April 7, 2014
Horror movies are not too bad, although not too tense but the film has a flavor that is different from other horror movies.
December 3, 2013
Slowly builds a foreboding atmosphere, but modern audiences may find it a little long in the tooth.
December 16, 2013
Wonderfully atmospheric and deliciously dramatic! This is one of the best haunted house films to ever grace the screen!
March 31, 2012
Lewis Allen's The Uninvited was originally released in 1944 by Paramount Pictures and stars Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey and Gail Russell. The film is about a brother and sister stumbling upon a cliffside home and deciding to purchase and live in it. They soon find out that both the house and the people who own it have a past, particularly a young girl, who is drawn to the house by a seemingly supernatural force. The film was the first haunted house film to take the ghosts in the movie seriously. Up until this time, most, if not all, films involving ghosts were either spoofs or comedies. But what's great about the film is how non-formulaic it is in structure. When it comes to haunted house movies, especially these days, there's always a married couple, usually with kids, moving into an old house and being driven to hysteria by ghosts or demons. The Uninvited is not that type of film at all. The spirits in the film have a purpose, rather than just attempting to scare the wits out of the new occupants. Overall, the film is more of a supernatural mystery by today's definition than a horror film. It's a simple ghost story with romantic elements to it, but it's also full of atmosphere. And despite the latter half of the film being chock full of mostly exposition, it's still a terrific film that will definitely hold your interest. Very much recommended.
November 22, 2013
Though it isn't too frightening and is at times cheesy, The Uninvited is a really well done mystery, dependent on its acting and special effects.
November 19, 2013
The first film to take ghosts or spirits seriously, rather than for comedy or a hoax, The Univited is an atmospheric firsthand look at what modern supernatural films would become when spirits are seen as real entities. The cinematography is wonderfully done and the settings beautifully gothic and elegant and that is the true beauty in the film.
|Carlton M Raines||
October 31, 2013
Gail Russell who starred died at the age of 44 due to alcoholism,During filming she suffered with severe anxiety, and was often drunk, however watching the film you would never know,Also the film was shot in California,and the house was a set,
The story was the first to actually feature a serious ghost and ghost story,
A brother and sister come across an empty house by the sea, and trace the owners to buy it,The owners grand daughter objects as she once to live in the house before her mother died there,Eventually she falls for the brother, Ray Milland, but things start to happen at the house, and the story unfolds from there. It really is a very good horror for its time, The ending has a great climax, but I won't spoil it.
I'm sure the squirrel at the beginning must have been someone's pet though!
October 11, 2013
The Uninvited is a million miles away from the so-called 'cattle-prod' horror that we see in cinemas so frequently today. It is an effectively creepy thriller with a heavy-weight lead pairing in Milland and Hussey.