Sunday, May 19, 2013

UNIVITED GUEST, THE (2004) movie review

Uninvited Guest, The (2004) d. Morales, Guillen (Spain)

Andoni Gracia stars as a recently separated young man who answers the door one day to allow a neighbor to use the phone, a stranger who for all intents and purposes proceeds to disappear completely when Gracia turns his back. What follows is a hugely suspenseful game of cat and mouse, filled with squeaks and footsteps and deceptive shadows, building to a very satisfying mid-feature climax.

However, writer/director Morales then overplays his hand by having Gracia seek out the residence of his interloper and insinuating himself unseen into that household. The performances are all splendid (especially Monica Lopez in a surprising double role), but because the film remains rooted in reality, with no indication that anything Lynchian or Polanskian is occurring, the viewer must take the onscreen events at face value which is where the internal logic breaks down. (A similar deficit of Morales’ 2010 feature, Julia’s Eyes.)

Had there been fewer plot holes or more stylization in the narrative, I might have appreciated this more – as it stands, I found myself growing more impatient and annoyed at the amount of disbelief I was required to suspend to keep watching.

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