Written and Directed
by David S. Goyer
Running Time: 1:28
for intense sequences of violence and terror,
disturbing images, thematic material and language
including some sexual references.
The Unborn was a complete crap-fest. In other words, it was spectacular in its crappiness. I'm fairly confident in predicting this will go down as one of the worst movies of 2009.
Young Casey Beldon is being tormented by a mysterious dream-like figure. It seems that Casey had a twin brother who died in the womb and who is now trying to get into the real world. Everyone of course thinks Casey is insane but she does find a few select people who believe her, including a grandmother she never know she had. As it turns out, the grandmother also had a twin brother when she was young and in a Nazi concentration camp. That brother was killed by the Nazis during a torturous experiment, but he came back to life with the soul of another person. So the grandmother killer her brother and that soul has been wandering around trying to find a way back. And poor Casey is now the vessel he has chosen.
It's truly hard to describe how bad a movie The Unborn is. There are bad movies that have a couple of redeeming qualities. There are bad movies that are so bad they're funny. Then there is The Unborn. It's a movie so bad you couldn't even laugh at the preposterous story line because for some unknown reason, the co-writer of The Dark Knight decided that the best way to set up this story was to incorporate the HOLOCAUST. When that little tidbit came into focus you could literally hear the breath leave the audience. It's one thing to sit through a bad horror film, it's another to have one that for absolutely no reason discusses Nazi experimentation on children in a concentration camp. There are a million other ways to tell this ridiculous story. What was writer/director David S. Goyer trying to show? There have been movies that aren't serious that use Nazis - the beginning of X-Men comes to mind - but that was actually a decent movie whose Nazi reference helped explain the history of one of the characters. In The Unborn the reference had nothing to do with anything.
All that being said, it's not as if they changed the backstory to something else it would have been any better. For me as a biased reviewer the only single thing that I liked about the film was that the girl was hot. She wasn't a very good actor and her range of emotions are equaled only by the trash I currently have in my garbage can. But she looked good while talking to her friend on a webcam about how things were trying to kill her. Beyond the story, the movie was very choppy and it seemed every 'scary' scene would end suddenly and then we'd be looking at a shot of the outside of a house. I get the feeling the filmmakers didn't shoot enough 'B' roll and had to keep coming back to the same exterior. It was a nice house though.
I also wonder if Goyer was owed some favors because Carla Gugino and Gary Oldman were in this schlockfest. Oldman's role was a decent size so I can sort of understand why he'd be in this. While he's a talented actor and certainly well known (I can only call him Sirius from now on) he's not an A-list actor so he'll appear in these kinds of films from time to time. But as I said, at least the role was a good size. Gugino on the other hand played a dead woman and was on screen for maybe a total of 3 minutes. Now again, she isn't an A-list actor but she's certainly better known than anyone else in the movie, save Oldman. What on Earth was she doing here? She did virtually nothing in the movie and her role wasn't of any consequence that they needed a recognizable face for it. What does Goyer have on her?
If you've seen enough movies, especially horror films, after a while you'll be able to predict what's going to happen and who it'll happen to. The good horror films try and at least surprise you from time to time. And then there are the ones that are just down and dirty and don't care if you can predict it, they're still gonna come after you hard for that scare. Then you've got a movie like The Unborn that is so by-the-books it's atrocious. Midway through the film I leaned over to the friend I had gone with and not only predicted the end of the film, I predicted the final shot. I'll admit, I've seen more movies than most, but for a movie to be so predictable that I can tell you an hour before it ends what the final shot will be is just wrong. Even during the film things were so obvious the audience would shout out 'well she's gonna die.' The commercials hype that the film is from the co-writer of The Dark Knight but this is a bad way to follow up one of the biggest movies in history.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I hated The Unborn. The story was stupid, the acting mediocre and I found it a little offensive. This is not one of those so-bad-its-good horror films. It's one of those so-bad-I-want-to-wring-the-neck-of-the-person-who-greenlit-it horror films.
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