The Unborn (2009)
By: J.R. McNamara on October 8, 2009  | 
DVD
Universal (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 2.40:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1, Hungarian DD 5.1, Czech DD 5.1, Polish DD 5.1. English(FHI), Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish Subtitles. 85 minutes
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: David S Goyer
Starring: Gary Oldman, Odette Yustman, Meagan Good
Writer: David S Goyer
Country: USA
External Links
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Wow!

There, I've said it, and I'll say it again.

Wow! I have just had the pleasure of watching one of the greatest horror films I have ever seen. Well acted, great writing, some impeccable cinematography, creepy special effects and in general some fine filmmaking and it has stayed with me, and probably will for several days.

That film was called The Exorcist, and I had to watch it because after watching The Unborn, I needed to be reminded 'Why'.

Why I was a fan of horror as a genre, and why I spend my days watching such utter crap instead of doing something decent with my life. The Unborn, written and directed by David S. Goyer, the man who wrote Dark City and Batman Begins is a misstep of mammoth proportions.

Before I enter the plot, I will explain why I think this film is a misstep. It seems to me, that after all the American remakes of J-horror films, that someone, either Goyer or some genius producer, came up with the idea of creating an original American movie, that has the feel of a J-horror flick, and is steeped in all its conventions: dark haired heroine; creepy kid, filmed in muted colours; even some of the sound effects in this dungfest were stolen from The Grudge, and as you may expect, it just doesn't work. The whole film is awkward and the protagonists are not unlikable, they are just nothing. I had no emotional investment at all in their well being at all. Actually one of the female characters was so annoying I almost fell to my knees and thanked the good Lord that she was dead.

The other problem I had would the filmed could be perceived as being unfair. The movie had to explain far more than should have been necessary. Having both a Dybbuk , the antagonist creature and the Jewish mystical Kabala involved were brave choices, but every new idea had to be introduced carefully with a full description of what was going on. Involving World War 2 Nazi death camps seemed unnecessary as well, as though being Jewish can only be defined by the tragedy of the Holocaust. As far as this script in concerned, brave choices don't always equal good choices.

The Unborn tells us of Casey Beldon (Odette Yustman) who is babysitting one night when a strange occurrence happens: one of the children she is babysitting has been forcing his baby sister to look into a mirror, and when Casey stops him from doing it, he assaults her with the mirror, cutting her face.

She is unnerved by this, particularly seeing as how she has been having strange dreams involving a spooky young boy and foetuses. The impact of the mirror causes her eye to begin to change colour, but is it that?

After some investigation into some strange hallucinations she has been having, she discovers that her deceased mother (Carla Gugino), who had committed suicide, had been terrorised by a creature known as a Dybbuk, a demon that had initially attempted to possess her great uncle when he and his twin sister, her grandmother (Jane Alexander), were interred and experimented on in a Nazi death camp.

She decides she needs to be exorcised as the hallucinations get worse, and enlists the help of a Rabbi named Sendak (Gary Oldman) who decides, after some convincing, to help her.

Add to this mix and ineffective boyfriend (Twilight's Cam Gigandet), absentee father (James Remar) and totally annoying friend (Venom's Meagan Good) and you have a steaming pile of celluloid that should be avoided at all costs.

I am not a detractor of producer Michael Bay films as many seem to be, but I just can't support complete and utterly crap films. If even after my warnings you intend on watching this film, do me a favour: watch it as part of a double feature, with the second film being something really good so you won't be turned off horror films forever.
Video
This film is presented in a lush 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen that it certainly does not deserve.
Audio
Presented in a flawless Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.
Extra Features
Just some deleted scenes, none of which were missed from the final travesty.
The Verdict
The biggest problem with this film was the deleted scenes: there weren't enough of them. If I were the editor I would go back to this film and delete about 98% of this film... and just keep the scenes of Yustman in her underwear.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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