POLSON – You’re invited to “The Uninvited” this Halloween season.
Just know what’s in store.
Since it’s a Port Polson Players production, it’s a play. And yes, it’s based on a movie.
But don’t confuse it with the 2008 American horror film of the same name. Or the 2009 and entirely different American horror film of the same name. Or the 2003 South Korean horror film of the same name. Or the 2003 South Korean horror film “A Tale of Two Sisters,” which was remade into the 2009 American horror film of the same name.
Confused? Don’t be.
PPP’s “The Uninvited” is based on the original 1944 movie of the same name that starred Ray Milland and Gail Russell. The original “Uninvited” movie, in turn, was based on Irish author Dorothy Macardle’s 1942 novel, “Uneasy Freehold.”
“It was pretty scary in its day,” says Neal Lewing of the Port Polson Players. “I read the book when I was in fourth grade. The play’s got some surprises, wind that shakes the chandeliers, ghosts, phantom lights – but nothing so graphic” that would disqualify it as a fun and spooky Halloween outing for the family.
The plot centers around a brother and sister who purchase an old mansion on a windswept English coast, only to discover it is haunted and filled with secrets pertaining to the granddaughter of the man they bought it from.
“It’s a lot of fun, and fast-paced,” Lewing says. “It snaps along pretty good.”
Matt Bishop and Maryann Cameron star as Roddy and Pamela Fitzgerald, the brother and sister who fall in love with the old mansion. Polson High School senior Sharidan Russell is Stella Meredith, the granddaughter who believes one of the spirits haunting the place is her mother.
Karen Lewing, Neal’s wife, directs the ensemble cast of 10, and she and her husband also have small roles, “Playing the bad guys, to the extent that there are bad guys,” Neal says. “But it is fun to play these stock British characters. It’s one of the few roles I’ve ever had that I don’t smile once on stage.”
With summer over, “The Uninvited” actually serves as the first show of the Port Polson Players’ 39th season near the shores of Flathead Lake. It runs the two weekends before and after Halloween.