Well before the release of writer/director David Goyer‘s The Unborn, the Dark Knight-scribe talked of a possible sequel to the dybbuk scare – an opportunity, he said, to go deeper into the origins of the spirit haunting lead Odette Yustman (Cloverfield). Now that the film has come forth, any idea of continuing the story should be aborted posthaste. With its impaired speech, unusual movements and awkward sense of sexuality, The Unborn is a deformed film unbecoming of Goyer. While his directing background is limited, Goyer has some formidable writing credibility. However, none of that talent is inherited by The Unborn; and despite an intriguing premise, would have been better not to have been born at all…full story [FirstShowing]
Yustman plays Casey Beldon, a college student who suddenly begins seeing scorpions in her eggs, dogs with masks, and all sorts of other crazy things. Her doctor gives her the boring reason: genetic mosaicism, a retinal irregularity usually seen in twins. It takes her Holocaust-survivor grandmother (Jane Alexander) to root out the real, much more evil reason, and, as per usual, the Nazis are involved. The reason that creepy blue-eyed zombie child keeps following her around has something to do with experiments done on Casey’s great uncle in Auschwitz that naturally turned him into a mythical Jewish demon named Dybbuk. And it’s up to Gary Oldman, as a Rabbi, to exorcize the malicious bugger…full story [FilmCritic]
There are possessions, a monster man that looks like something from JOHN CARPENTER’S THE THING, and then that same monster is soon doing an EXORCIST walk. I dug the monster itself, in fact, when David uses the creepy looking kid or the man turned beast, I had a bit of fun. But as I mentioned, I felt as if I should have a checklist that I could match the scene with whatever inspiration that came to mind. While all of the comparisons may be, for the most part coincidental, it became a huge distraction. The cut and paste editing didn’t help things much either. One character will disappear for awhile, then just show up to move the plot along. Some of the sequences would build in a very strange and far from natural way. And by the time the plot finds its way to an oddball exorcism, everything goes into overdrive. People are being possessed, doors are slamming and all hell breaks loose. But when all is revealed, I realized I had it all figured out after the first ten minutes…full story [Joblo]
Goyer makes the smart choice of taking the less is more approach to spooking his audience. Sure, there are a few editing and visual tricks he uses to signify Yustman’s world is growing distorted, but he holds off on the gore and fright tactics for as long as he can. Tension is established early on and by the time we are presented with familiar CGI monstrosities we’re already uncomfortable in our seats…full story [Latinoreview]
Pic marks a departure for Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes shingle, representing the first original scarefest from an outfit best known for remaking such horror classics as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “The Amityville Horror.” And yet, so familiar are the recycled bits that make up this “The Exorcist”-meets-“The Grudge” combo that Goyer isn’t likely to get much credit for all the background research he did trying to flesh out a fresh backstory for such supernatural shenanigans…full story [Variety]
The no name girl in question is played by Odette Yustman. I refuse to refer to her as an actress. She was also in Cloverfield, where her bad acting was probably easier to mask hidden behind that awful shaky cam. The fact that she’s gotten more than one gig in this industry must be attributed to her lean and sexy figure, not her acting which is non-existent. She does at least look delicious, you can kind of see why a ghost would want to get in her. Hey maybe he’s not trying to possess her, maybe he just wants a date.
I refuse to waste any more of my day on this movie. There’s no excusing it. It’s as if the worst parts of every bad horror movie ever made were stitched together into a single turd and splattered in front of a camera. It’s terrible. I’ve warned you. I’ve done my duty. Now let’s never speak of this movie again…full story [Cinemablend]
Filmmakers always say they want to make a horror movie on the level of “The Exorcist” or “Rosemary’s Baby” and the inevitable result is something like this…generic, underdeveloped and more silly than scary. “The Unborn’s” poster prominently features Yustman in her underwear, and while Goyer initially seems content to exploit the lithe body of his lead, the film’s bargain basement thrills just get cheaper from there. PG-13-friendly loud noises and demonic children appearing out of nowhere substitute for anything innovative or interesting. By the time veteran actress Jane Alexander starts ranting in a thick Hungarian accent about Nazis and ghostly horrors that “started in Auschwitz” you’ll be too busy cracking up to get creeped out…full story [Metromix Chicago]
Basically, if The Unborn were two degrees dumber, it’d be the funniest movie of the past seven years. As it stands, one can only watch the lunacy parade across the screen and wonder “How did the guy who co-wrote The Dark Knight think THIS was a good idea for a horror movie?” Frankly there’s not a theme, a scare, a character, or a concept in The Unborn that you haven’t already yawned through during The Messengers, One Missed Call, or just about any other (mostly PG-13) horror movie that wasn’t really made for horror fans in the first place. But what’s that? Who would make a horror movie that’s NOT for horror fans? Lots of people. And they do it every damn month. Once in a while they hit paydirt with some dung-heap like Prom Night and then we get a bunch more teeny-bopper pseudo-horror flicks that MIGHT have a solid opening weekend — but are instantly forgotten and never remembered with any degree of fondness. I guess that big opening weekend is a lot more important than a quality effort and a strong shelf life…full story [Fearnet].