Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 7th, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: South Korea, 2003
Director: Su-Yeon Lee
Cast: Ji-hyun Jun, Seon Yu, Shin-yang Park, Won-Sang Park
DVD released: May 30th, 2006
Approximate running time: 127 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: DTS Korean, Dolby Digital 5.1 Korean, Dolby Digital Stereo Korean
DVD Release: Panik House
Region Coding: Region 1 NTsc
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: Jeong-won (Shin-yang Park) is a construction worker who one day while riding the subway sees two girls who would be later found murdered. His work is affected and a strain is put on his relationship with his fiancée because of his visions of dead children. One day Jeong-won meets a woman named Yun (Ji-hyun Jun) who also experiences psychic visions. The two form a friendship and they quickly rely on each other. Jeong-won desperately wants to uncover the truth behind a dream he has had since childhood and Yun reluctantly helps him solve the puzzle.
The films writer/director Su-yeon Lee creates a story that filled with so many details that paying attention is required to fully appreciate and understand everything that is unfolding. The cinematography and direction at times is reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The films two leads Jeong-won and Yeon as the film progresses become more isolated from the rest of the world. Their descent is done is such an effective way it reminds us of just how fragile the mind is. The acting is pretty good by virtually everyone involved with the best performance being Shin-yang Park as Jeong-won.
Without a doubt the most impressive scene in the film is the dream sequence in which Jeong-won remembers his lost memories. This is also the most disturbing part of the film because during this dream sequence an infant who is sitting in the road is ran over and then the driver of the truck gets out and throws the body into the sewer below. The film eerie score compliments effortlessly the films beautiful photography. The Uninvited is not a horror movie as it goes for its scares in a more psychological way. Overall The Uninvited is a stylish thriller that is rich in character development.
Panik House presents The Uninvited in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Colors look accurate and details look razor sharp and remain stable through out. There are no problems with artifacts or compression and edge enhancement is kept to minimum.
This release comes with three audio options DTS, Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital Stereo. All three audio mixes are in the films native language Korean. The DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 are the two best sounding of the three included with the differences between the two being minimal. All three audio mixes are have crisp dialog and evenly balanced music and effects. There are no problems with hiss, distortion or any other sound defects. Removable English and Spanish subtitles have been included.
Extras for this release include the films original trailer, bios, production notes, “Korean Horror” an essay by Art Black and poster & still galleries. Also include a film to storyboard comparison and an abridged version of The Uninvited which runs about fifteen minutes in length and a section titled “Theme Music” which includes three pieces of music from the film. Other extras include an eight minute interview with Shin-yang Park and Ji-hyun Jun and a section titled “Behind the Scenes; The Making of the Uninvited” which is essentially nine behind the scenes segments which all play separately. Rounding out the extras are two audio commentaries’ the first one with Korean Film Licensor Ed Lee who reads an essay written by Art Black about Korean and Asian cinema. This audio essay runs barely twenty five minutes and doesn’t spend enough time talking about the Uninvited. The second audio commentary is with Jesus ‘Pelos’ Olvera Editor of Al Borde. This commentary runs the full length of the film unlike the Ed Lee track. Unfortunately it is in Spanish only with no English subtitles.
It is surprising that they didn’t subtitle in English the Spanish audio commentary especially since they have once again they have included bilingual menu’s that can be watched in either English or Spanish.
The DVD comes with an outer sleeve that houses the main DVD. The design of this outer sleeve case is unique as the card board case only covers half of the front cover and all of the back cover. Also the artwork on this outer sleeve is different then the artwork on the keep case. Inside the keep case is a DVD chapter inset and a sticker that looks just like the outer sleeve’s cover art. Overall Panik House’s gives The Uninvited a near flawless release that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and a substantial amount of extras, highly recommended.