The Uninvited (1944)

Article #697 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-10-2003
Posting Date: 7-10-2003
Directed by Lewis Allen
Featuring Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Gail Russell

A songwriter and his sister buy and inhabit a deserted house by the sea, only to discover it is haunted.

I had watched this horror movie many years ago and was sorely disappointed at the time, though that had a lot more to do with my expectations than any flaw in the movie itself. For one thing, I’m pretty sure I was put off a little by the brightness of most of the scenes, and a light comic touch that pops up occasionally. I liked it much better this time around; the brightness is only used in scenes when it is appropriate, and the comic touches are a bit of a relief from some of the heavy-handed comic touches that pervade a lot of horror movies. Probably the most important difference to me this time was that I actually followed the plot line, which is essential to appreciating the events in this movie; when I first saw it, I was a little too lazy to pay attention to the details, and my appreciation was somewhat less. The scary scenes are quite effective, and there’s something about the final confrontation between Ray Milland and the ghost on the stairs at the end of the movie which really was satisfying this time; last time, I felt it was a letdown. In many ways, this is an archetypal haunted house movie, and I’m glad I gave it a second chance.

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