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THE UNINVITED

Scares, Suspense And Sleight-of-Hand
In 2002, producers Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald produced the hit horror thriller, "The Ring,” a groundbreaking remake of the Japanese film "Ringu,” that signaled the start of a new trend in genre films – the thought-provoking thriller. They would subsequently produce the film's successful sequel "The Ring Two,” in 2005. Since first starting this new cycle of Asian horror film adaptations, Parkes and MacDonald searched for a project they felt was as ingeniously conceived and executed as "The Ring,” and finally found it when producer Roy Lee brought the original Korean hit movie on which the "The Uninvited” is based to their attention. "It was a very intriguing story that had, at its heart, something that was ripe for translation,” recalls Parkes. "The best of these movies are similar to fairy tales in that there is a strong moral undertone, which is a terrific foundation on which to build a horror tale. Look at ‘The Omen,' in which Gregory Peck's child dies at birth and he steals another baby and doesn't tell his wife. The original Korean movie that inspired ‘The Uninvited' also possesses an interesting and classically primal story of a teenager who, having spent ten months in a sanitarium after suffering a breakdown over the death of her mother, returns to discover that the woman who was taking care of her mother is now living with the father. There's a strong sense of moral transgression here. Teenagers, for all their rebelliousness, are very moral creatures. I have two teenage kids and they have a strong sense of family and its traditions. The sense of ownership of a collective past is very important and their morality comes from that. Something is unleashed in a teenager when a family promise has been broken.”

After securing the rights, Parkes and MacDonald began the process of what Parkes refers to as "translation.” "I use the word ‘translate' for a reason,” insists Parkes. "It's not just mimicking; it's understanding what something means over there and turning it into what is meaningful here. Not just translating the language but also the context, the social environment, and how audiences here perceive stories, which is different than how Korean audiences do. Part of our job was to clarify the narrative substantially so that it was understandable but at the same time didn't lose that edge of ambiguity that makes Asian cinema so fascinating. We needed to understand what the values of these movies were within their culture and be as disciplined as possible in translating them into our own.”

For Parkes, "translation” also meant transposing the sensibility of the story to give it an almost classical look. "In Hollywood, horror has tended to dwell mostly in the world of low-budget films,” explains Parkes. "But there was a time when all the best directors, actors and writers did horror movies: Robert Wise's 'The Haunting'; Roman Polanski's 'Rosemary's Baby'; William Friedkin's 'The Exorcist'; and Brian De Palma's 'Carrie.' That was followed by a period when horror became the stuff of slasher movies such as 'Nightmare on Elm Street' and 'Halloween.' Then, starting with films like 'The Sixth Sense,' horror returned to the mainstream. It certainly has brought us back to the kinds of movies that we enjoyed as kids. And it's attracting filmmakers for a specific reason: it's the only genre that elicits a high level of visceral, emotional and physical reaction from an audience. In the underlying material for 'The Uninvited,' we saw another opportunity to make this kind of horror film.”

"The Uninvited” finds inspiration in, and pays homage to, these classic horror films, reveals Parkes. "As in Hitchcock's ‘Shadow of a Doubt,' there's a sense that a family member may have a past that's not exactly as presented. And, as in a more recent film like ‘What Lies Beneath,' there's the sense that there's som

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