The Unborn – DVD Review
By Jeff Swindoll Jul 6, 2009, 15:21 GMT
Enter a world of unrelenting evil as terror finds a new form in The Unborn. From the producers of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the co-writer of The Dark Knight comes this shocking supernatural thriller about a young woman (Odette Yustman) plagued by chilling dreams and tortured by a demonic ghost that haunts her waking hours. Her only hope to break the debilitating paranormal curse is in an exorcism with ...more
No that’s not Megan Fox, but the film isn’t exactly the Exorcist either. Not that there are not references to many films of the past.
Call it a “greatest hits” of possession films so it will remind you of scarier films.
Casey Beldon (Odette Yustman) has been having strange nightmares. They seemingly come to life when she’s babysitting her neighbor’s kids and the boy begins acting strangely and hits her with a small mirror.
Her eye begins to change color and when she goes to the doctor about this odd change she finds out that one of the symptoms of this condition is being a twin.
Well, Casey is an only child… or so she thinks. She finds out from her father (James Remar) that her twin died in the womb and that the nickname they called him is what the strange looking child in her nightmares says his name is.
Casey’s mother (Carla Gugino) committed suicide and in digging around in her past to find out about her twin and the trauma of his death she comes across an article by Holocaust survivor Sofi Kozma (Jane Alexander).
She visits the elderly lady who eventually reveals that she is her grandmother and that an evil spirit, called a dybbuk, took over her twin brother in the concentration camp and she killed him to prevent the spirit from coming in to the real world.
She tells Casey to seek out Rabbi Sendak (Gary Oldman) so that he can perform an exorcism to send the dybbuk back to the darkness from which it sprang, but the little devil isn’t wanting to gently into that night.
Unfortunately, the Unborn joins the Uninvited in the lukewarm “tween” horror flick genre. There’s really not too much original in the film as it hits the highlights from The Exorcist, has dogs that reminded me of The Mephisto Waltz. I suppose the concept of the dybbuk being a Jewish monster, but such religious supernatural beasties stretch back to The Golem.
I only compare The Unborn and the Uninvited (well they both have “Un” in them) because they’re films that have been effectively neutered to make sure that the kids can gain admission with a PG-13 rating. I suppose the PG horror film is a lost art that died with the 1960s with The Haunting and The Innocents.
The Unborn feels like a stillbirth of a film with all of its chills coming from other, better pictures. It’s like a highlight reel of possession films. I’d really expected much more from David S. Goyer since he’s been riding high with The Dark Knight. Maybe I’m the wrong audience since I can throw out a reference to The Mephisto Waltz and I’d imagine that much of the 13-year-olds and above would have never heard of that film.
I guess the Unborn tries to scare and chill, but if you’ve seen those other films then you’ve seen it all before and therefore the chills will be too familiar to do much to you anymore.
The Unborn is presented in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 televisions. Special features include 6 minutes of deleted scenes.
The Unborn tries for originality, but comes up lacking. If you’re a youth it may seem like the “bomb” to you and Odette Yustman does parade around in her underwear for some eye candy, but it’s definitely nothing new in the horror genre.