The Uninvited is a 1944 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Lewis Allen. It is based on the Dorothy Macardle novel Uneasy Freehold and stars Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey and Donald Crisp. It also marked Gail Russell’s rise as a star.
Seeking respite from the bustle of London life, writer Roderick Fitzgerald (Ray Milland) and his sister Pamela (Ruth Husse) move into a neglected clifftop mansion and set about making it their home. However, it isn’t long before an unnerving presence makes itself felt: an eerie chill lingers in the rooms and distant wailing is heard at night. Despite Roderick’s cynicism, it becomes increasingly clear that the house is haunted – but why in such a snug haven would the dead trouble the living?
Martin Scorsese and various critics, including William K. Everson and Leonard Maltin, regard The Uninvited as one of the best ghost stories ever filmed.
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“A key entry in the history of Hollywood horror, The Uninvited would be crucial simply because it was a very rare example of a prestige, unabashed supernatural chiller filmed during World War II, a period when such things were off limits unless your name was Val Lewton… (here) you have a top-tier spook tale even non-horror fans could love.” Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo Digital
“Though not a perfectly realized eerie “old dark house” film it, nevertheless, achieves a realistically disturbing psychological mood and becomes one of those rare movies that is a genuine ghost story. This is accomplished mainly through the superb performances by all concerned (Gail Russell emerged as a star from this film) and creative camerawork by Charles Lang, who gives it a stunning film noir look.” Dennis Schwartz, Ozus’ World Movie Reviews
On October 15, 2018, The Criterion Collection is re-releasing The Uninvited on Blu-ray.
- New 2K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- New visual essay by filmmaker Michael Almereyda
- Plus: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme
On October 22nd 2013, Criterion released a new Blu-ray Disc version:
New 2K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
New visual essay by filmmaker Michael Almereyda
A booklet featuring an essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme