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Unborn, The (2009)

PG-13 87 minutes

Directed by David S. Goyer
Written by David S. Goyer

Starring
 · Odette Yustman
 · Gary Oldman
 · Megan Goode
 · Cam Gigandet


Review by Reel American Hero (Mike Keskeys)

Writer David S. Goyer has been a veteran genre writer in Hollywood since 1990, starting out with cheesy direct to video movies like Demonic Toys and Puppet Master before making his big break with the script to the first Blade movie in 1998, since then he's been able to bring back the Batman franchise from the brink of Hollywood death, and now he's poised to write a new kind of superhero movie with the upcoming Super Max. 

  Earlier this year however he wrote the script for and directed what was purported to be one of the creepier horror movies in recent times, 'The Unborn', but somewhere along the line this movie just felt flat.

 

Smarts

 
 40%

 In The Unborn, Odette Yustman (Cloverfield) plays Casey Beldon, a young college student who's been having nightmares and hallucinations  involving a creepy little boy, fetuses among other strange things.  She gets some help from her friend Romy (Meagan Good-Brick, Roll Bounce) and they go to research what could be causing these dreams.  She finds out from her father (James Remar-Dexter) that she was a twin, who's brother died in the womb, and then she locates some things of her mother's. Among the items was an article her mother kept,  and Casey  goes to talk to Sofi Kozma, (Jane Alexander-The Ring) a Holocaust survivor that knew her mother to find out what could be causing the nightmares. 

 I have to say after the brilliant script that Goyer wrote for The Dark Knight I'm a little disappointed with this by the numbers horror offering here.  It's as cliched as they come, young woman with nightmares, check, skeptical best friend:, check, generic boyfriend type;, check,...old person with secret that can help problem, check. creepy little kids, check.  I can go on and on, there's nothing in this movie that feels real or original, and the generic performances the cast gives doesn't help matters either.  About the only real person's performance I liked in this film was the kid playing the creepy little neighborhood kid, and I can't find any info on him on IMDB.  There's a fine line in playing creepy little kid, you either end up annoying like the kid in The Ring, or you're awesome, like Danny Llloyd in The Shining.  This kid in his limited role here channels more of that then The Ring kid.

 

 What did save this movie for me somewhat was the cinematography of James Hawkinson (The Hitcher).  You can tell throughout the movie that he's known mostly for his music video work for artists like Creed among others, as the visuals are just amazing.  Shots of snow falling or being chased by creepy possessed old men with upside down heads just look spectacular here.   I found myself more engrossed by the visuals then by anything that was actually happening in the story.  

 Speaking of visuals the KNB effects group (From Dusk Till Dawn,) and Asylum ( Swordfish, Minority Report) do outstanding work as well in the makeup and visual effects departments respectively.  It was their work that had also kept me glued to the screen, not so much for anything going on in the story but for the technical stuff.

 

 

 

Popcorn

 
 28%

If you're not that picky about your horror movies you might find some enjoyment in this or even be creeped out by the visuals, because really there is nothing at all original about the premise, characters, anything.  Technically speaking this is one of the worst movies I've seen in some time, but there are moments of awesomeness sprinkled throughout, like what the spirit does to people as it's posessing them, turning them into something out of Silent Hill, or the creepy little kid shanking somebody in a raincoat, that make the movie seem better than it really is. 

 But truthfully there's not a lot of entertaining going on here.  I did find it an awesome coincidence that two members of the cast of Dexter were involved in the movie, and if that's what I'm thinking about as I'm watching a movie, something else the actors are involved in then I'm just watching the movie and not actually being entertained, enthralled anything.    

 

Final

 You see that scream she's doing there in the upper right corner of this part?   That's a good representation of what my brain was doing for most of this movie.  I cannot in all good faith recommend this movie to anyone.  It's pure generic trash.  However it is generic trash that is beautifully shot, and the visual effects are incredible.  The only way I'd suggest seeing this movie is if you're having a drunken movie night and want to MST3K the hell out of something.  If that's what you want to do then yes by all means go rent The Unborn today. 


802 Words Published: 29 July 2009

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