Monday, July 18, 2011

Horror Film Review

The Uninvited Guest (2004):  Hitchcockian horror from Spain.  Yes, you will need to deal with the subtitles (at least it's not dubbed, thank the lord).  I'll admit I dozed off, but it wasn't the movie's fault.  It's what happens when I try watching a movie at 1:00 am on less than five hours of sleep.  Normally, this would have had me utterly rapt.  On the other hand, it is more than a little strange.

Felix (Andoni Gracia) is an architect who lives a huge house and has just split with his girl (Monica Lopez). A stranger knocks on his door one night asking to use his phone.  Felix lets him in, gives the guy some privacy.  When he returns to the room, the dude's gone.  Big deal, right?  He just let himself out of the house.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Felix is more than a little paranoid to begin with so this wrinkle has a high freak factor.  A search turns up nothing.  It's a big house, though.  And shortly thereafter, he starts hearing things and then seeing evidence that someone else is living there with him.  He does all the right things...calls the cops (they find nothing and think he's a nutter), has his ex come over to help, which ends up badly as she disappears.  So what's next?  He goes to his neighbor's house and ends up living there without them knowing it.  Ironic, no?  In the end, we discover a tunnel connects the neighbor's house to Felix's.  I must say the ending confused me.  The neighbor lady's in a wheel chair.  The guy who put her there is supposedly the guy who asked to use the phone.  Felix ends up shooting and killing him without knowing who he is or even that he had actually killed him.  I know for a fact the climax is a big twist that should have left me shocked and impressed.  Unfortunately, it sailed right over my head.  I'll get more sleep next time.  Promise.

The Breakdown

Acting:  Gracia plays his part well.  He hits all the right notes and pushes the right buttons.  Most of them creepy.
Story:  Like nothing I've ever seen before.  Refreshing weirdness.
Direction:  Definitely keeps you on your toes.
Production Values:  Fairly low budget as nearly all of the film takes place in Felix's labyrinthine house.  Doesn't have that cheap feel to it, though.
Gore/FX:  Nope.
Scares:  There are few spots that will get your blood pumping.
The Ending:  Confusing to me but probably pretty cool to everyone else.
The Verdict:  Should you see The Uninvited Guest?  It's not traditional horror by any means, but if you like Hitchcock-like suspense then you should give it a try.  If you do, please let me know what the hell the ending means.

My Rating3 out of 5 stars.

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