The Unborn

The Unborn


Reviewed by: Donald Munro

The Unborn is horror by numbers. It starts with an old, dried-up set of paints- the best colours have already been used up - and sloppily fills in the spaces with clichés. The heroine, Casey (Odette Yustman) jogging in a deserted park. The creepy little j-horror girl painted in as a boy with a shade of Don't Look Now, except the rain coat is blue instead of red...

Red is one of the colours that is running low. The soundtrack you've heard a hundred times before. Some loud noises to make you jump. Cut and pasted dialogue. There's also ultra soft-core porn. For no dramatic reason Casey is often clad in skimpy panties and vest. “I need some air,” cuts to a naked shower scene. Blue is a colour used often in this film. Blue for the eyes of the possessed, blue to show that a demon is near. All it needs now is a plot, something to get it from beginning to end.

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Casey is troubled by strange dreams and visions, and by the disturbing nature of a boy she is babysitting. Her eyes start to change colour from brown to blue. After seeking medical attention she discovers that while she was in the womb her umbilical cord strangled her twin brother. Eventually she tracks down Sofi (Jane Alexander), her grandmother. In 1944 Sofi and her twin brother were sent to Auschwitz. Evil experiments were performed on their eyes. The brother died and his body was possessed by a Dybbuk (a wandering spirit from Jewish tradition). Sofi killed her brother. The Dybbuk now plagues Casey's family. It tried to be reborn as Casey's twin and then it drove Casey's mother to suicide. Now it is attempting to possess Casey.

An exorcism has to be performed. Enter Rabbi Sendak, played by Gary Oldman. The plot is explained and re-explained in Sofi's annoyingly fake German accent.

The script is bland and unimaginative, giving the actors little room to give personality to their characters. Meagan Good manages something playing Romy, Casey's best friend. The visual effects are derivative, with heads turning round the wrong way and stuff being thrown about. Creepy looking kids have been seen many times before. The film ends with a montage that provides a recap of the whole plot and sets up an obvious sequel, with an embarrassingly predictable final twist.

Reviewed on: 27 Feb 2009
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A young woman is gradually possessed by a malignant spirit that has haunted her family since her grandmother was in a concentration camp.
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Director: David S. Goyer

Writer: David S. Goyer

Starring: Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, Meagan Good, Cam Gigandet, Idris Elba, James Remar, Carla Gugino

Year: 2009

Runtime: 87 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


Glasgow 2009

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