Speed RacerRelease Date: Jan. 30Director: The Guard BrothersWriter: Craig Rosenberg, Doug
Miro and Carlo Bernard; Ji-woon Kim (original)Cinematographer: Dan LandinStarring:Arielle Kebbel, David Strathairn, Elizabeth Banks Studio/Run Time: DreamWorks SKG,
Anna suffered a nervous breakdown after
her mother's tragic death, and she returns home from the mental
hospital to find not only her father and sister but also her father's
new girlfriend. A bit too perky, a bit too present in this situation,
the girlfriend was mom's nurse before the accident, but Anna and her
sister Alex think she may have had something to do with the deadly
explosion.Speed RacerTheir mom had been sick for a while, so
the family moved her into the boathouse, because who wants a sick
person lying around your seaside mansion when an underutilized
boathouse is available right next door? They hung a bell around mom's
wrist so she could jingle for assistance when necessary, but they
overlooked the problem of the huge tank of gasoline at her bedside.
One night it blew up. Hence the nightmares. They're creepy, but since
this is a PG-13 film, they aren't too intense, and they're certainly
not as weird as the dreams in the Korean horror film on which The
Uninvited is very loosely based, A Tale of Two Sisters.
They include no synchronized menstruation, for example.
But the dreams are an ongoing reminder
of what happened, and Anna and Alex are determined to get to the
bottom of it. A boy who lives in town says he saw the whole thing,
but every time he starts to tell his story he gets interrupted. Or he
falls down, gets dirty, and needs to take his shirt off. Anna tries
to tell her father about the suspicious things his girlfriend has
said and done (like tightening pearls around Anna's neck or saying
things that could only be explained by Scooby-Doo logic), but he
won't listen. Every road is blocked! Finally, the sheriff pays
attention. He tells Anna to stay in his office while he goes
investigating, and he politely turns off the light on his way out the
door, leaving a young woman who's been tortured by nightmares and
chased by a murderer no choice but to curl up on the couch and await
her moonlit close-up.
The Uninvited is concise and
well-acted, but it seems to aspire to something scarier and more
mind-blowing. The original is no masterpiece, but director Kim
Ji-woon used the confusing plot as an excuse for stylish, elongated
suspense. In their middling remake, the filmmakers have greatly
simplified the story and created a few likable characters (notably
the father played by David Strathairn) instead of getting by on
chilly confusion, but they've hung very little else on that lean
spine. A handful of briefly scary scenes. A contorted body straight
out of the Ringu cycle. An unintentionally humorous flashback.
A bikini for the sister. A cute boy for the town. A tragic explosion
for the mom. They all work to round out the psychotic mystery or
enhance the film's trailer, but they don't make the movie any more
thrilling. The Uninvited is an occasionally spooky, often
silly, made-you-jump suspense film with a conclusion that's not quite
whack enough to satisfy.