The Uninvited (1944)

Part 12 of my 13 Ghost Movies of Halloween!

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  • Directed by Lewis Allen
  • Starring Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Gail Russell
  • Written by Dodie Smith, Frank Partos
  • Horror, Mystery
  • Not Rated
  • 1h 39mins.
  • 1 September 1944

Synopsis

A brother and sister on holiday find a house they adore and decide to buy it. However, when they move in, they discover the house has a dark secret. The man who sold them the house had a daughter who met her untimely death in that house, leaving behind his only grandchild, Stella, and an empty home that nobody wants to live in.

How’s the Story?

Dude, this story is really interesting. Also, without spoilers it’s hard to say much, but I’m very surprised at the subject matter and the sympathy for the people in the situation they were in being permitted in this time period. I’ve studied film history, and showing sympathy for the final revealed situation is very surprising. I like that this movie had a very human story along with the ghost story, and part of that human story involves the very amusing characters in it.

How’s the Acting?

It’s very time-period-specific. It’s no secret that this era of Hollywood involved wild over-acting, which is exactly what you get. It’s good for what it is, but it wouldn’t really hold up in today’s film industry. That said, I’m a fan of classic Hollywood cinema, so I appreciate the acting in this movie very much.

How’s the Writing/Directing?

Honestly, this one is pretty well written. I like the little humorous moments included in the seriousness. It breaks up the overbearing ‘things are life and death!’ vibe that gets heavier and heavier as the film goes.

Also, I’m not sure if it was written this way on purpose, but there’s a very queer-coded woman in this movie that I find very amusing in this situation.

How’s the Cinematography?

It’s nothing special, but it’s good. I like the special effects. They’re really good for this time period. The ghosts are very scary for the tech of the time.

Is It Worth Watching?

It’s definitely worth watching if you’re into old Hollywood. It’s a really, really interesting one. I didn’t figure out the twist until right before it was revealed, which for a movie of this age, is pretty impressive, because in this era, they really wanted to hammer stuff home. It’s one I would highly recommend for sure.

My Rating: 7/10

About J. Chelsea Williford

Movie addict, reader, writer, pop culture lover.
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