Wednesday, October 19, 2016
31 Days of Gothic Romance | The Uninvited
When we talked about The Uninvited on Mystery Movie Night, I described it as My First Gothic Romance. That's not quite fair though. Martin Scorsese and Guillermo Del Toro have both praised it as being especially scary and influential. And cinematographer Charles Lang was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on it. As Erik noted on that Mystery Movie Night episode, The Uninvited shares a similar mood and look with Val Lewton's super atmospheric films. So it's got a lot going for it and it's one of my favorites.
It's only compared to Rebecca from a few years before that The Uninvited feels like a tamer entry of the genre. Rebecca is dark and oppressive (deliciously so), while The Uninvited has a lighter tone. Ray Milland's banter with Ruth Hussey and flirtation with Gail Russell give the movie a breezier feel. It has a great mystery - and one that's potentially even more deadly than the one in Rebecca - but it's not one that I ever feel in my bones the way I do with Hitchcock's film.
It's still great though and classic gothic romance. There's an old mansion and at least one character who's trying to preserve the past and doing harm to an innocent young woman in the process. And unlike Rebecca there's an overtly supernatural angle, too that sets up one of the movie's best mysteries.