Assholes Against Remakes 

On Contrarianism, Dorkery, and The Uninvited

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It's a fool's errand to compare contemporary Hollywood remakes of foreign horror films to their source material, right? I mean firstly, it inevitably makes you look like some asshole stick-in-the-mud—like the sort of guy who gets all bent out of shape about how, "Oh, it was okay I guess, but nowhere near as good as the book." I mean really, what's the point? And even more so with foreign horror movies—except instead of surreptitiously bragging that you've read the book, all you're doing is illuminating the fact that you watch foreign horror movies, which is neither discerning nor intellectual, just dorky. Isn't it probably best just to save face and simply acknowledge that you're dealing with two discrete enterprises, designed for unrelated audiences?

But you can't do that, can you? You can't just sit there and enjoy the latest in the endless succession of Asia-to-Hollywood horror adaptations—in this case, a remake of the flawed but relatively winning Korean horror fairytale A Tale of Two Sisters, but starring white people and bearing the name The Uninvited (which just happens to be, confusingly enough, the name of another popular, completely unrelated Korean horror film; a fact that crawls under your skin so deeply that you can barely contain yourself about it). You can't do that, can you? Not without complaining about how Hollywood always sacrifices the genuinely haunting quiet of Asian horror stories for played-ass tropes like teenagers making out at parties and shit jumping out at you all "boogedy-boo"? Without comparing Elizabeth Banks' painfully stilted performance as the villainous stepmother of the (formerly titular) two sisters to that of the graceful, restrained original? Without noting that the twist (upon which all of these movies invariably hang) is both twice as obvious throughout the span of the film, and roughly half as felt when it eventually drops? You can't, can you?

What's this then? You think that lead sister Emily Browning's performance actually wasn't half bad? And you're strangely satisfied with the redemptively artful final act? Why this change of heart? Why, for all of its obvious relative failures, do I sense that you actually kind of enjoyed The Uninvited? God, please don't tell anyone.

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