Disembodied, Disinvited, & Disingenuous

DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP!

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In our age of spectral reality TV, we may be spoiled. Electronic emissions, night vision, and all the technological gadgets to chase down ghosts has made amusing TV viewing from Ghost Hunters to Ghost Adventures to Ghost Mine.

So, when we heard that 1943’s The Uninvited was being recast as a classic, we had to see it. It started promisingly with Ray Milland giving appropriately compelling narrative about his experience at Windward, a worn down old manse on the sea cliffs of England in 1937. It isn’t Gull Cottage by a mile.

Milland and his sister (!) Ruth Hussey have no money, but pool their resources to buy this white elephant. The relationship of Hussey and Milland is creepier than the ghosts and modern house with no electric lights. Candles only, thank you.

Milland is a music critic and hopeful composer. Their dog recognizes something is amiss and takes off for the hills. The housekeeper’s cat is also smart enough to know those cold spots and crying jags in the night mean trouble.

Add actress Gail Russell to the mix and you know you have something odd indeed. She plays a British girl who sounds American. From the start this doomed actress with her legendary troubles is watchable, but also seems to be a looming train crash.

Special effects are low-key and likely to bring guffaws rather than chills to audiences in the 21st century. If you like your movies to inspire eye-rolling and groans, you have a classic hereafter.

As for the ghosts, we can only sympathize with them. But, put thoughts of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir out of your head. This is more like Abbott and Costello in the Haunted House.

For more movie reviews and insights, read ALFRED HITCHCOCK FRESHLY SHOWERED or MOVIE MASHUP!  Books by Ossurworld’s William Russo are available at Amazon.com in softcover.

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