UNINVITED (2003-KOREA)
review by Neo


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Jeon Ji Hyun is no longer SASSY!
As a regular reader of this site, you would definitely notice the trend of Neo slowly becoming a Korean movie addict and if that's what you are thinking, you are dead right. With a slow start to HK cinema in 2005, Neo decides to go Korea for a while and at the very least this review. Jeon Ji Hyun is without doubt an actress has that unique ability to lighten up the audience with her sheer presence, but while Sassy Girl shoed her comedic and dramatic touches, Uninvited proves her to be a quality actress. This movie is not bad, but to call it good is an overstatement as all the movie does is leave the audience in a mood of total confusion of not even getting what the hell was going on feeling, despite its over 2 hours running time. Perhaps, it is what the director intended to do - to simply confuse the audience, but as far as Neo is concern, he is not very happy about it.

As far as the story goes, it is either complex, or that even the director didn't even know what the hell he is filming: The story begins with Jong-won (Park Shin-yang), an interior designer engaged to a wonderful woman who suddenly finds himself haunted by the images of two children recently found dead and abandoned on a subway train. Repeatedly seeing the young ghosts slumped at his dining table in his apartment, he becomes too afraid to go home and later to even sleep. On the verge of losing his sanity, Jong-won meets Yon (Jeon Ji-hyun), a morose young woman who seems to be the only other person able to see what he does. Desperate for an explanation, Jong-won seeks out the mysterious Yon but ends up getting much more than he bargained for. Combining the paranormal with the psychological, "The Uninvited" leads to you a supernatural mystery…

One of the biggest problem of this movie, is not just the plot, but why the hell did they sale this movie as a horror, when it is not even scary? Okay, then call it a thriller, but it is not even thrilling. This movie is what I call, a movie that keeps the audience guessing and guessing of how it will end and the director aims to keep building up suspense, but then all of a sudden, he realize that the movie is too long already, so he just say - "Okay, let's wrap it up!" Perhaps, that is all bullshit, but rarely do I get so disappointed in a movie that actually have a pretty interesting premises, but totally wasting it.

However, on the only plus side, and perhaps the only and only one reason why Neo watch this movie is the world known - Jeon Ji Hyun. Her performance here is mystery and layered, and more importantly emotionally filled. Who says that a bad movie can't have good performances? Her maturity is seen here to the maximum potential and proves to be one very versatile actress. However, the same can not be say of the male lead Park, as he not only is not very charismatic, but does not have the acting chops to sustain the running time of the movie. When an actor like him seems so lost and not even know why he is acting like what he is doing, it is clear that the movie is not going anywhere at all.

Korean movies have been on a high and at whatever level you look at this movie, at worst, no one can actually call this a sure-win bad movie, but nor can anyone claim that this is a perfectly good movie, as it is not either way. This is what I call a weird and unnecessary confusing movie that does not have a purpose at all. Sure the production values are good and Jeon does well in her difficult role, but when a director/ producer have to use over 2 hours to explain the plot of the movie, it is clear that they are just prolonging it, but when despite the 2 hours, the audience still don't get a HORROR or THRILLER movie, then this is one hell of a serious problem! Perhaps, this is what some people will say as ART, but to Neo this movie is just damn bullshit that is making my mind not only going crazy but absolutely confused.

I rate it 5/10

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Artist Name(s) : Park Shin Yang | Jeon Ji Hyun
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo), March 2005