on June 9, 2006
I got the DVD for the Uninvited not knowing what to expect, Asian Horror movies are usually very different one from another. There are movies that go heavy on the blood and others than go heavy on the Drama; The Uninvited falls in the latter, just like other movies like Dark Water or Two Sisters. The movie is about a man named Jung-won who is an Interior designer. One day he falls asleep in the subway and he must hurry out before the doors close, but outside he notices that the two kids are still on the train, and he does nothing. The next day he hears on the radio that the 2 children were dead and suddenly he starts seen the kids sitting at his dinner table.
He ignores what is happening to him, probably thinking is the shock of watching the children dead in the train until the day he meets a woman named Yun who suffers from narcolepsy, so he takes her to his home when she loses conscious in his car, and just when she is leaving she tell him to put his kids in bed, so now Jung-won is not the only one seeing the dead kids.
From there Yun helps Jung-won find the gruesome secrets buried in his past, but he is not the only one with a dark past.
The movie has some very shocking scenes that play very well. Both lead actors, Shin-yang Park and Ji-hyun Jun (most known for her part in the romantic comedy (My Sassy Girl") did a fantastic job playing these troubled characters. The cinematography is superb, there were some scenes were I was very impressed.
The US DVD from Panik House is great, from the cover to the extras. There are 2 Audio Commentaries, one in English, which is very informative about the Korean culture and Cinema and another one in Spanish. It has a Making Off, Interviews with the lead Actors, a story boards/scenes comparisons, and other need stuff like a condensed version of the movie. The DVD also comes with a sticker of the cover.
I really recommend this movie to everyone, is not a simple horror movie but a complex drama with some very shocking moments.
on January 25, 2007
"The Uninvited," is not your usual or typical horror film riddled with the usual gorefest cliches common in too many horror films. This film is a deeper, and more methodically paced film dealing with the human pysche. And more importantly, the horrors that we carry with us: In this case, the films main protagonist Jeong-won (Shin-yang Park). If you have the patience for a very complex, and slowly paced film, then this film will reward you. As a word of caution however, it is not for those whose idea of a horror film [if we can call it that] is one with gratuitous gore from beginning to end. I thought that this was a very good film. However, it may not appeal to all viewers. The film is rather slow-paced, and ambiguous.
Furthermore, the films usuage of ghosts and other supernatural occurances are used in order to advance the films main theme: The inner pysche of the films main protagonist, Jeong-won (Shin-yang Park). And I believe the film succeeded magnificantly in this respect. The film begins with Jeong-wan, an architect, who has no recollection or memories of his childhood. Returning from home one day on the subway, he notices two young girls who are sitting next to him. As he reaches the end of the line, he notices the two girls are still there. Thinking nothing further about it, he returns home. However, he later learns that the two girls were dead. Thus begins a very complex film. Jeong-wan's life begins to change dramatically, as he begins to see the two dead children. Whether or not this is in his head, or real is only part of the films message: For it is mainly the films ambiguity which leave the viewer to his or her imagination.
Finally, while the film is not so much about horror, per se, as much as the horror of trauma and loss, there are still some disturbing images which are haunting in their themes. As the film moves forward, Jeong-wan meets a woman named Yeon (Ji-hyun Jun), who is a narcoleptic. She is also a witness in an infant murder case, who can also see these two childrens ghosts. They both try to unravel this mystery of the children, and in doing so unlock Jeong-wan's shocking past. I don't want to give away too much of the film, however, if you sit back and allow the films slow and nuanced pace to arrive at the conclusion, you might find you like this film. However, it's not a happy one with a neat tidy conclusion. I recommend you rent the film first to see it this is a film you would like to have in your cinema collection. The film does take patience. Recommended. [Stars: 4.5]
The Uninvited (Su-yeon Lee, 2003)
The Uninvited is being marketed here in America as just another Asian horror flick, which is a disservice not only to the film, but both to the Asian horror film audience in America and the audience that would get far more out of it. Not to say there isn't crossover; I rented it expecting another Asian horror flick and got, well, The Uninvited, which while it contains some supernatural elements (and the rather extreme ways of depicting them of which the Japanese are so fond), is a breathtaking psychological drama about the lengths a person will go to to defend himself from the past, and the devastation that can occur when those defenses are broken down.
While the main character is Jeong-won (Shin-yang Park), it's hard to really define anyone as a "main" character here. He (and his story) gets the most screen time, but everything going on around him is just as important, even the part to which he and his story are tangential. In any case, Jeong-won is an interior designer with a problem--a nagging, overbearing fiancée, Hee-eun (Seon Yu). One night, he falls asleep on the train home, and rides it to the last stop by accident. As the train pulls off into the yard for the night, from the platform he sees that two small children are still on the train, seemingly asleep. The next morning, he finds out they were found there dead, and almost immediately after has a work-related accident that causes head trauma. That night, he sees the two dead girls sitting at the new table his fiancée just bought.
And that's just the first five minutes. It's also the synopsis most people will give (everyone stops there because we run out of space for it), and that's why everyone thinks it's a ghost story. Oh, but there's much more--an alleged psychic, a murder trial, a poor priest who may or may not be who he says he is, rumors of infidelity, a mental clinic, and it just keeps going on and on. There's no way to give a full synopsis of this movie in less than a thousand words; there's simply too much to it, and it's all quite wonderful.
The pace is psychological-drama pace, not horror pace. You should be expecting things to move slowly. It is, after all, over two hours long, which gives us enough time to absorb all the different threads Su-yeon Lee wove into the screenplay. There's a lot going on here; this is a movie that requires you to pay attention to it, but the payoff is in the characters, the way they interact, Lee's bravery in not tying up all the loose ends (the final scene is just perfect, even if we're probably in greater suspense about the scene that would come just after than we have been at any point in the movie), and all the other little things that make The Uninvited one of the best movies I've seen this year. **** ½
on February 5, 2007
As I write this I must say that Ernest's review is better than anything I can probably say, and I agree with most of his opinions. Yes, this film is slow; it is about the characters, and character development takes longer than slashing or gore. This won't fit a lot of Americans' concepts of horror movies: there is no monster, human or supernatural; there is no slashing or teen sex -- no teens at all, for that matter; and the ghosts of the dead children are not overtly threatening, but instead rather sad; there are not even "gotcha" moments such as those in Dark Water or The Grudge. It is, however, an intensely fascinating movie for fans of psychological horror, and those who have an interest in the dark side of the human psyche. I don't feel a need to describe the plot, because others have done that. This movie does give us a new kind of horror, one rarely seen in Asian films and almost never in American horror films since the 1960s. For American film fans, let me say that if you liked the original, black and white, early 60s "The Haunting" (based on Shirley Jackson's book "The Haunting of Hill House") you will probably enjoy this. The films are vastly different on the surface, but in the final say, they both focus on the human rather than the supernatural, and use the supernatural as a means to explore the human condition. It's well worth watching, and for fans of Asian horror, definitely worth owning.
on July 30, 2008
One of the best and eeriest examples of atmospheric horror ever made, "The Uninvited" has been criticized by some for being too slow, but in my mind the pacing is perfect for this particular story. On the way home on the subway train one night, a man (Shin-Yang Park) is the last off the train except for two children who he assumes are sleeping. The next day he's horrified to hear that on a subway train the bodies of two dead children were discovered; subsequently he starts to see those very children sitting at his kitchen table in the same slumped, lifeless posture he saw them in on the subway. With no one else able to see them, he assumes he's having a mental breakdown until a chance encounter with a young woman named Yun (Ji-Hyun Jun, listed on this DVD as Gianna Jun) who, upon entering his apartment, can also see the children. Yun has herself been in a deeply unbalanced state over the past year, since a terrible tragedy in which she lost her own child. Here is where the movie really starts to delve into the strange and scary, as events move forward while flashbacks also go into Yun's past and what happened there. The meaning behind alot of events is ambivalent, leaving the viewer able to interpret things in more than one way - for example,the true nature of one of the main characters remains very cloudy: tragic victim or something much more sinister and disturbing? The open-to-interpretation theme works extremely well, as it has in a number of other Asian horror movies. The acting is award-worthy, with Ji-Hyun Jun in particular standing out, the overall production excellent, and a great musical score. With some terrific jolts amongst the deeply simmering atmosphere, the horror builds right to the last frame and holds on deeply even as the credits roll and the possibilities of what really happened sink in. A+
on September 2, 2015
I'ts a very slow boil, but I like those. The pacing is what got to me a little. There was not a single shift in the medium to slow pace throughout the entire movie which I assume was on purpose to suit the physiological tone. This is not for the gore lover. It plays out like a spooky drama with some truly unnerving scenes.
on May 17, 2010
The first time I watched "The Uninvited" (2003, Korea) I thought it was boring. The second time I watched it I thought it was good but needed approximately 20 minutes edited out. Last night I watched it for the third time and was captivated from start to finish. It's truly one of the most effectively depressing films of the past decade, and is essential viewing for lovers of slow-burning, psychological, dramatic horror films with heaping quantities of character development.
The key to enjoying this film is to pay attention to the subtle details. Even the most ordinary dialogue is used meaningfully here. These characters have experienced horrific acts of death and violence in their pasts and have also experienced dysfunctional relationships with others. These dysfunctional relationships are communicated in a fragmented, nonchronological manner that's similar to most East Asian horror films. There's also some slight ambiguity, but only in little patches that can be filled quite easily with some common sense and logic. It's important to achieve that understanding though, because absent this understanding the viewer will never be able to appreciate the characters' suffering nor the motivations for their actions. And let me tell you, these are some of the most gloomy, disheartened, and interesting characters you'll ever see.
The acting is what we've come to expect from South Korea, first rate. Ji-hyun Jun gives one of the best performances of her entire career. She's utterly convincing in an atypical, dark role that establishes her diverse acting range once and for all. Her depression isn't presented in a typical, psychotic, over-the-top manner. It's a very restrained exhibition, even in those few cases where she suffers a mental breakdown of sorts. The film uses her character's interaction with others, a steady tone, and a longer running time (2 full hours) to slowly but surely communicate her despair to the viewer. It's impossible not to sympathize with her and hope for her recovery. The quality of acting doesn't begin and end with Ji-hyun though. Everyone comes off looking well here.
Another important point to make is that the entire foundation of this film is human suffering inflicted by humans. Contrary to what one might expect, there's really no ghostly activity present at all. Even the opening 30 minutes, which makes the film seem like it's going to travel oft-explored ghostly themes, can be interpreted as entirely psychological. Almost all of the horror sequences focus on disturbing historical events involving horrific accidents or murders that are presented in disturbing ways despite the absence of graphic violence. It might seem like an oxymoron to say that "The Uninvited" has more balls than the slew of vacation torture movies of recent years, but it really does trump those movies in pure guts because the acts of violence here are inflicted upon very fragile, defenseless victims. Some sequences are, in fact, jaw-dropping because most filmmakers (and their producers) are too timid to show such things.
This is a damn good film that somehow fell between the cracks during the oft-referenced (but not entirely accurate) period known as the "hey day" of Asian horror (circa 1998-2005). I never hear it mentioned or referenced, but it deserves more attention than overrated, boring tripe like "Gozu" (2003). Watch both films and it's fairly obvious that "The Uninvited" is the better of the two in almost every conceivable aspect of film-making.
on July 5, 2011
The film about a man who is haunted by the visions he sees. On the surface it appears to be a ghost story but it turns into the exact opposite of that. The movie is very real so expect to see what you would never see in an American film, I.E. children dead or murdered. I liked the idea that "The Uninvited" doesn't sugarcoat or sensor the events that occur. They show you so that you understand just why the characters are so broken when they recall certain events in their lives. By the title of the movie you would think "The Uninvited" pertains to some sort of entity but really it pertains to a paranormal ability to see and experience things you would rather not.
In the fashion of Korean horror this isn't something that you've seen before. The story isn't exactly predictable and problems just don't smooth themselves out. I thought this was a good film. I just assume that the name may confuse people with the American movie which this is NOT! an Asian version of.
"The Uninvited" brings its own sense of eeriness that's not your typical haunted ghost story which it may seem like at first. I rated it 3/5 stars because although it's an interesting film it's also a pretty depressing film. The theme of the movie seems to be despair and the only relief from it seems to be death or suicide. The characters seem to have no real resolve to their problems other than to just "deal with it". I didn't like the idea so much that even though both of the characters had people around them that cared for them and wanted to help them, they still felt so lonely and isolated in their issues.
The ending also didn't exactly answer a simple question that I think most people wanted to know about the main character and his fiance. Might seem like it wouldn't be something to be too concerned about but the difference leads to answer another possible question. Like is he going to walk down the same road as the others effected by the paranormal powers.
Overall a good film to watch but it's subject matter may not be for the sensitive. I wasn't exactly expecting them to show a child being ran over by a truck either but, that's what makes the movie realistic.
"The Uninvited" is a compelling Korean psychological thriller with a dash of horror in it. The movie is quite slow in pacing, but patient viewers will be rewarded with a compelling second half. The story centers around a despondent man Jung-Won, an interior decorator who is anxious about his impending marriage. He falls asleep on the subway train one evening and wakes up just in time to get off the train, but not before he sees two young girls asleep on the seat next to him. The next day, he hears news on the radio that two young girls were poisoned on the subway and finds himself being haunted by them - he returns home and finds the two dead girls sitting at his new dining table. He begins to question his sanity, but then he meets a depressed housewife Yun [Jeon Ji-Hyun from "My Sassy Girl"] who is troubled by a traumatic incident in her past. When he takes Yun back to his place, he realises that Yun is also able to see the two specters, as she tells him to put his two kids to bed!
Jung-Won tries to get Yun to help him solve the mystery of the haunting and eventually with her help, he discovers some troubling aspects in his own past. Meanwhile, his life is a mess and he suffers a series of personal setbacks. Yun too experiences a lot of heartache, and when Jung-Won meets Yun's husband, Moon-Sub, he discovers some horrific facts that center around Yun. The final scene makes a very disturbing image in one's mind.
The second half of the movie is better paced than the first half. The acting is credible all-around, though Jeon Ji-Hyun's performance as Yun here is not as commendable as her performance in "My Sassy Girl" [rather flat really]. The creepy aspects of the movie are rather subdued [compared to the graphic horror of movies like "Audition"] and in fact, "The Uninvited" is high on psychological horror and atmosphere, and has more to do with the mind and how tortured individuals cope with their personal tragedies.
"The Uninvited" may appeal to fans of psychological horror movies.
on October 18, 2011
i wont say it is a horror movie .yes there are few images of dead children lying . but the main theme is not horror at all . Gianna Jun performance in this movie is very memorable and awesome :) . This movie is quite deeper and you cannot keep your eyes off from the movie for one second .Because missing one scene means you missed an important part of clue in the movie . The movie is almost 2 hours long .So if you are patient man/woman like me . Than buy this movie . You wont regret it and if you are fan of Gianna Jun .Buy it along with Blood: The Last Vampire. :)