Directed by David S. Goyer
Starring Odette Yustman, Meagan Good, Cam Gigandet, Gary Oldman
Released on January 9, 2009
Running time: 1h 29m
Apparently Michael Bay is under the delusion that utilizing Jewish demonology rather than Christian demonology somehow makes his crappy story sound original.
This is not the first movie released by Platinum Dunes that I have seen. As you may remember, I reviewed the first movie that Platinum Dunes unleashed on the filmgoing world: the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I bashed it for its lack of originality, lack of scares, lack of improvement over the original TCSM, and lack of effort altogether. I also reviewed Ouija, and also bashed it for its unoriginality, lack of scares, and ultimately lack of effort. The Unborn, however, does not have a classic horror movie to gangrape and mutilate more than a Game of Thrones character. It has the opportunity to develop an original story and memorable characters. It could have been the next Exorcist. Its villain, a demon from Jewish demonology known as a dybbuk, who takes the form of a young, wide-eyed boy, could have been the next Regan MacNeil / Pazuzu.
Unfortunately, The Unborn squanders its opportunities.
Young Casey Beldon (Odette Yustman) starts out living a decent life. She lives with her father as she goes to college, and has two good friends – her best friend Romy (really?)(Meagan Good), who has some sort of prejudice against old people, and her boyfriend Mark (Cam Gigandet – goshdangit, it’s James from Twilight and Ryan from Never Back Down! Ugh.)
But all that goes to hell, literally, when Casey starts experiencing all sorts of weird crap going on. Not only does she have a strange dream involving a ghostly child, a dog wearing a mask, and an … aborted baby(?), not only does the boy she’s babysitting attack her, saying, “Jumby wants to be born now,” not only does something knock on her bathroom mirror, not only does a Jerusalem cricket fall out of an egg she is cooking for breakfast, not only does Casey hallucinate “Jumby wants to be born now” during a class lecture, not only does she develop heterochromia (one of her brown eyes has parts of it that are now blue), but the ghost child from her dream is stalking her! GoshDANGit this is ridiculous!
Oh, and I’m sure that this isn’t just me – the little ghost boy looks BORED. BORED out of his MIND.
Of course, the rest of the story involves some sort of halfhearted plot twist, some old creepy photos, a film reel, an old woman, some more weird crap, another plot twist involving a flashback to history, the revelation of our halfheartedly written villain as a Jewish demon known as a dybbuk, a priest or two, a book, more weird crap, more weird crap, more weird crap, eventually an exorcism, and another bullcrap plot twist.
Sigh. At least it’s not as unoriginal as Ouija.
The story is not only really weak, but completely unoriginal. The characters are not only really weak, but completely unoriginal.
Oh, and there’s this: stop thinking that shots of creepy kids, colored contact lenses, and the occasional out-of-nowhere jumpscare are actually scary! They’re not!
Here’s another major problem I have: the spider-walk scene is ripped directly out of The Exorcist.
Odette Yustman is at least passable in this train wreck, and Gary Oldman is clearly trying. Cam Gigandet is still James from Twilight. Meagan Good is an annoying, stupid bimbo.
Oh, and the villain is completely forgettable. Well, of course, the villain is evil enough, but we’ve seen him so many times before!
We get horror films like The Unborn about every year now. It is ungodly disappointing that we now expect PG-13 horror films to suck tiny, wrinkly, impotent balls. It hurts to realize that the PG-13 horror movie is now the equivalent of the Xbox Kinect: hellish to develop and ultimately broken. Good PG-13 horror films are few and far between. And the ones that are in between those good ones suck. Horribly.
The Unborn is no exception.
Final verdict: 1 out of 5 stars.