The Uninvited (1944)

Horror Month is here! I say this every year, don’t I? But that’s only because I adore classic horror (imagine…) and I love talking about it. So let’s get right into it! Here’s The Uninvited (1944, dir. Lewis Allen).

Rick Fitzgerald (Ray Milland) and his sister Pamela (Ruth Hussey) fall head over heels in love with Windward House, a beautiful abandoned Cornish house that is just perfect for a break from the hoo-ha that is London. Upon meeting the owners, Commander Beech (Donald Crisp) and his granddaughter Stella (Gail Russell), they discover that there is much more to the house than meets the eye…

The original ‘are you telling us the house is haunted?’ movie, The Uninvited, based on Dorothy Macardle’s novel, manages to make you forget its now all too familiar tropes by being a badass of a psychological horror fest. The love child of Rebecca (1940, dir. Alfred Hitchcock) and The Ghost and Mrs Muir (1947, dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz), The Uninvited reels us in with its charm – the dog and squirrel moment being one of the cutest things ever on film -, and makes us stay with its powerful message about the past, life, family and what it all means. Like so many horror flicks of the era, The Uninvited relies on its ability to effectively tell its story through suggestion, with the help of its stunning cinematography by the great (and Oscar-nominated) Charles Lang. As a result, Lewis Allen’s directorial debut went almost entirely the way he intented, had it not been for one scene, which makes use of a very real ghost. Other than that, it’s all in your head – a horror trope which will never, ever go out of style.

8 thoughts on “The Uninvited (1944)

  1. John A. Rizzo

    Bravo Carol. Superbly written. (I still have my doubts about the scene at the cliff, though. I can’t help thinking gravity and momentum would have taken them both down. )

    Liked by 1 person

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