Traditional ghost stories, particularly those that surround a haunting often have a comforting quality to them thanks to being accompanied by social gatherings or children’s activities and being set in snug locations. Lewis Allen’s The Uninvited and The Unseen are two such tales that contain many elements of the classically spooky and they’re available now from Imprint Films, packaged nice and snug in one of their signature hardcover box sets.

Location speaks volumes to a music composer and his sister who snatch up a beautiful gothic seaside mansion for a monetary bargain, and a troubled past. Soon after settling in, a deceased previous occupant makes itself known with more than just the odd bump in the night. How will the siblings deal with this spiritual squatter?

Despite its light and often comedic tone, The Uninvited still manages to excel in an atmosphere with gothic imagery, such as our actors ascending a dark staircase with only the light from a candelabra. Cinematographer Charles Lang was nominated for an Oscar back when the category specified for either black-and-white or colour, and the film certainly is a quintessential example of how the absence of colour is equally, if not more effective.

Ray Milland as our leading man carries himself well. He plays for laughs, but he doesn’t act like a comical scaredy-cat. However, the ‘May/December’ thing our lead has going on with his 19-year-old co-star, Gail Russell, is a little questionable through a modern lens. Russell is a standout as the granddaughter of the previous owner who still harbors a deeply personal connection to the mysterious residence. Together our trio form a fun collective of paranormal sleuths that hit all the now-classic tropes we’ve come to expect and enjoy with big-screen ghost stories.

The Unseen is a lot more grounded than The Uninvited but arguably more sinister as a new house governess, Elizabeth Howard, played by Gail Russell, uncovers strange occurrences that seem to be connected to her employer, a rather cold and secretive widower with two small children. While not a sequel, this companion piece is the B-side of Imprint’s set – granted though, the Australian-based label has brought this obscure classic to Blu-ray for the very first time. Gail Russell brings a great deal of much-needed warmth to a household under a menacing shadow and manages to hold her own against her unusually hostile superiors. Running for only 80 minutes, The Unseen is by no means a long movie, but a needlessly convoluted plot with character introductions that amount to nothing makes it drag during the middle third.


  • 1080p High-definition 2K digital transfer from a 35mm duplicate negative
  • NEW Audio Commentary by noir expert and Film Noir Foundation board member Alan K. Rode (2024)
  • NEW ‘The Uninvited’ and the Female Gothic – Video Essay by Kat Ellinger (2024)
  • NEW Gail Russell: The Flame That Burned Twice as Bright – Interview with critic Imogen Sara Smith (2024)
  • Two Original Radio Adaptations Starring Ray Milland
  • Lady Astor Screen Guild play with Ruth Hussey & Betty Field (1944)
  • Screen Director’s Playhouse with director Lewis Allen (1949)
  • Theatrical Trailer


  • NEW Audio Commentary by noir expert and Film Noir Foundation board member Alan K. Rode (2024)
  • NEW Gothic Noir: The Unseen Touch of Henry James – Video Essay by Imogen Sara Smith & Max Evry (2024)
  • Theatrical Trailer

Despite being previously given the “Criterion” treatment, The Uninvited comes with two new, exclusive featurettes. Kat Ellinger once again delivers a fantastic video essay on “female gothic”, diving into the term’s origins and literary roots. Of course, the horror aficionado relates the sub-genre to our feature presentation, giving an in-depth analysis that will no doubt enlighten viewers. The interview with Imogen Sara Smith runs a hearty 30 minutes, but her affectionate and informative overview of Gail Russell’s life and career will leave fans wanting more. Noir expert, Alan K. Rode delivers separate commentaries for both The Uninvited and The Unseen. Rode’s conversational manner of speaking makes each track an accessible listen for the most casual of film fans. Imogen Sara Smith is joined by Max Evry in The Unseen’s sole featurette which runs a little less than 10 minutes. In their video essay, the pair talk about the works of Henry James, namely his novella The Turn of the Screw, and how it influenced The Unseen, despite no credit being given to this fact upon the film’s release. – by Hannah Lynch


The Uninvited comes via a 2K digital transfer from a 35mm duplicate negative, which offers a very clean 1080p presentation. Given how the film is shot, there are several moments when you really can really appreciate the detail of the 1.37:1 image. However, the new 2K scan by Imprint Films for The Unseen tends to reveal a lot more detail in comparison, and the 1.33:1 image is much brighter overall, but it has a very raw quality coming from the original camera negative.

Both films feature an LPCM 2.0 Mono track, and while they’re equally loud and clear, The Unseen does suffer from a strange audio anomaly where it almost sounds like someone farts on the boom mic, which caught me off guard every time. English HOH subtitles are included.


The Uninvited and The Unseen warrant both invitation and viewing. Imprint has put together a neat set that’s well-curated, even if we’re just talking about two titles. It’s the thought and consideration for fans/collectors that I appreciate the most.

(1944 & 1945, director: Lewis Allen)



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direct blu-ray screen captures


direct blu-ray screen captures



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