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a horror film written by David Goyer (2009)

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A lousy film featuring lousy scares, with a lousy leading lady and lousy visuals.

  • Apr 10, 2011
* out of ****

To its credit, "The Unborn" is some of the best anti-fun you'll have with a horror movie in quite some time. While a lot of horror movies are bad, few (in 2009, especially) are so tame, bleak, and art-less as this one here. It's a joyless "thrill-ride" about demons, Judaism, and how actors can be put in such uncomfortable positions; ones which they were not born to be in. There's problems on every end of this film, from the writing, to the characters, to the distinct lack of smart scares. In fact, "The Unborn" is full of laughably lame CGI-scare-attempts. It fails where other films before it have so miraculously succeeded, and it's stupid, but not in an entertaining way. In the end, it has a lot of ideas, some good, some bad; but ends up being an unforgivably unwatchable mess. Horrific, yes, if only for the fact that such accumulative crap shouldn't exist, and since it does; its scary "bad". I was willing to like the idea behind "The Unborn" since it is a good one, but this film only has one right: the right to be lame and unbearably poor in its "craft". Coming from the guy who (helped) pen "Batman Begins", and this man's name is David S. Goyer, you'd expect a tad more. I know that I did.

The story concerns a girl named Casey, who at the beginning of the film, it tormented by a horrific nightmare. She feels that this could mean something, since she keeps seeing similar images (a ghoulish little Gothic-horror kid, a demonic dog wearing a creepy looking cat-mask) in her visions/dreams. Somehow, she comes to a mysterious conclusion, consults an eye-doctor, and learns that she has the irises of a person who may have a twin; although she is very certain that she does not. And then, she learns through an old woman that her family is haunted and stalked by a vengeful spirit; a Dybbuk, to be precise. Now, I Dybbuk is a demonic entity in Jewish mythology. Thus comes some jibber-jabber about Judaism. Enter a Rabbi, and we've got a movie!

The characters in this story are a bore. The leading lady is played by the beautiful but deceptive Odette Yustman, who should not be in this film, or any other, for the matter. Gary Oldman plays the Rabbi competently enough, and he's the only one here who seems like he's actually trying. But alas, he's not trying hard enough. His character is incredibly under-written and plagued with the kind of simplicity that has haunted horror characters from the beginning of time. The story, by all means, works well with these characters; if only because both are stupid to great, unimaginable ends. I've seen some pretty shit horror movies, and this is one of the worst ones I've seen in quite some time. But of course, most horror remakes and/or original projects suck anyways. This is one of those "original" horror films, not based on a foreign/classic film, that separates itself from the genre through a lack of inspiration or entertainment. It's not indulgent to horror fans, and will most likely insult them. It's not scary, freaky, particularly jumpy, and in the end, it feels cheap-as-hell.

The CGI-work here is not the work of a strong imagination; it is the work of a strong computer that alas, does not use all of its power. The CGI looks bland, cheesy, and anything intended to be scary or horrific ends up being, quite frankly, silly and pathetic. Other than that, the cinematography is fairly average, although this film is all-around a visual disaster. That's the truth, mates; and it's a damn ugly one. But really, when horror films like this can be made, sent out into theaters, and make as much money as they're making, then we have a bug that needs squashing. "The Unborn" is a pretty big bug, but that does not mean that it's hard to splat. My suggestion is for you to lift up your boot, splat the rat, and forget about this messy piece of crap.

*I also forgot to mention that the hallucinogenic scenes feel like very bad acid trips. But wasn't "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" designed as a "bad acid trip" film? Why yes...yes it was. But this one is meant to be psychedelic, psychological, and intelligent; but alas, it's just stupid and pretentious. Once again, even if you enjoy an ol' hallucination, move along.

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More The Unborn reviews
review by . July 13, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
   David S. Goyer had written the first two “Blade” films and co-wrote “Batman Begins” with Christopher Nolan so I excused him for his lackluster directorial efforts in “Blade Trinity” and “the Invisible”. Now that was before I found out that Goyer is also responsible for the script in “Kickboxer 2: the Road Back“. Certainly, one wouldn’t be hard-pressed to think that Goyer is a either a hit or a miss after his less …
review by . January 18, 2009
The Unborn (theatrical release) 2009
The famed writer of Dark Knight, David Goyer, brings us a film with an interesting plot...The Unborn. Though, as good as The Dark Knight was...The Unborn is bad. Maybe he was trying to balance the scales...create one great movie and one bad movie...I don't know. What I do know is that the newest film to fall under the genre "horror", starring Odette Yustman and Gary Oldman, is a flop. Casey Beldon is a college student living with her father and struggling to deal with the loss of her mother - after …
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Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie


  • Opened January 9, 2009 | Runtime:1 hr. 28 min.
  • PG-13
    intense sequences of violence and terror, disturbing images, thematic material and language including some sexual refernces
  • Casey Beldon (Odette Yustman) hated her mother for leaving her as a child. But when inexplicable things start to happen, Casey begins to understand why she left. Plagued by merciless dreams and a tortured ghost that haunts her waking hours, she must turn to the only spiritual advisor, Sendak (Gary Oldman), who can make it stop. With Sendak’s help, Casey uncovers the source of a family curse dating back to Nazi Germany—a creature with the ability to inhabit anyone or anything that is getting stronger with each possession. With the curse unleashed, her only chance at survival is to shut a doorway from beyond our world that has been pried open by someone who was never born.
  • Cast: Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, Cam Gigandet, Meagan Good, James Remar

  • Director: David S. Goyer
  • Genres: ThrillerSupernatural Thriller
  • Poster
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    DVD Release Date: July 7, 2009
    Runtime: 88 minutes
    Studio: Universal Studios

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