15
Jul
09

Movies on DVD Review: The Unborn

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There should be a law against making a horror movie this boring.

Starring Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, Meagan Good, Idris Elba, and Carla Gugino. Directed by David S. Goyer

The story: Caey Beldon (Yustman) is going for her daily run when she spots a missing glove on the pavement. She picks it up and suddenly sees a kid, who then turns into a dog with a mask of a human face on which runs into the woods. She follows it and discovers a baby fetus buried in the dirt. Bad visions, right?

Cut to Casey talking with her friend Romy (Good) about dreams. Not a lot of information there. We, the audience, come to find that Casey’s mom (Gugino) committed suicide at a local mental hospital. Aside from that we find out that she goes to college (studying what, we never know) and has a boyfriend named Mark (Cam Gigandet). More and more she’s confronted by the spirit of a dead boy, but what does it mean?

Her life is further complicated when she develops a condition in which her eyes start changing color. Afterwards she finds out that she had a twin brother who died during childbirth because the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, suffocating him.

With a lot of pouting, walking around, more pouting, and more walking around, Casey digs through a box of her mother’s belongings and finds 16mm film of the mental hospital (why would someone keep that?) and a newspaper clipping about a woman who had escaped Auschwitz.

More walking and pouting as she goes to the old folks home and meets Sofi Kozma (Jane Alexander). Sofi talks with her a little bit but when shown a picture that includes the dead boy in it, she freaks and sends Casey away. Casey is surprised (as we all are) when Sofi gives a call back to Casey at midnight and invites her back to talk with her. We now learn about the dead boy: he was Sofi’s brother. It seems that he and Sofi were twins experimented on by the Nazis during WWII. Sofi’s brother died but then became possessed by a demon that tries to use twins to come into our world. “What is a twin but a reflection…?” Sofi asks (or a convenient plot device?) Sofi encourages her to find Rabbi Sendak. Another plot point: Sofi is Casey’s grandmother (which is interesting seeing as Casey’s mother was supposedly adopted. Funny how those coincidences occur…)

Casey confronts Sendak (read: more pouting) and asks him to perform an exorcism from an ancient book she stole from the library. Sendak (Oldman) has never performed an exorcism before and wants some time to think about it. The slow plodding of everything pisses off the demon who tries ramping-up the tension by killing Sofi by inhabiting the paralyzed senior resident Eli (which is the ONLY scary moment in the entire film). Then, the demon possesses a small kid who kills Romy.

Casey, Mark, and Sendak meet at a basketball court where Sendak says he’ll do an exorcism (read: “Yeah, I’m cashing a check here but I really am tired of your pouting and walking around.”) He recruits Arthur Wyndham (Elba), a man on the faith whose take on exorcisms is “non-denominational.” They, along with a crew including an EMT, travel to the mental hospital (the place where the evil is greatly concentrated) and perform an exorcism on Casey. The demon exacts his wrath and kills those without a name, limited screen time, or limited use (guess who’s left alive?)

And why, oh why, did Casey have to go through this? In one of those “Shamma-Lamma-Ding-Dong” movie twists… she’s pregnant with twins! Oh no!

The worst thing about this move (if you can get past the story/plot) is that as I’ve said earlier, it’s BORING. It’s like someone copied down the recipe for making a horror film but forget the most important ingredient of all: details. The detail of Casey being pregnant would have worked better at the beginning of the movie instead of the end, where no one really cared. In fact the movie lacks any emotional depth aside from Yustman’s constant crying. But overall, I just didn’t care nor did I find it all that scary.

And while I’m ripping into it, what was the deal with the slow-panning aerial view shots? We’re shown an aerial view of Casey’s house (insert audio BOOM), the retirement place (BOOM), the mental hospital (BOOM). Evidently evil likes heights and having its own sound effect.

Boring. Not scary. Completely B.S.

My grade: D- (It would be an F, but there’s plenty o’ Yustman walking around in undies footage)

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