The Unborn (2009) Review
Written by: BlackTequilaKiss
A decent premise but a cast that lacks, writing that dulls the sense, scares that do not scare and a twist that is rather pointless. I remain rather glad I was not the one who rented this but instead a friend. If I had rented this I would have been severely disappointed.
It's not all that original, yes, but there has been more than enough horror's that borrow certain thoughts from other movies and still keep us amused. It takes a movie of many proportions to not only miss that significant point but to create an experience that is entirely forgettable and in no way original.
I never had high hopes for this film but hopes enough that when I watched it, it would grab my attention. This did not. Boasting the typical scares, the pale faced kid whom is starting to wear thin on me and a pretty lead who lacks in acting although she tried.
Casey Bell detests her mother for leaving her as a child and for things left unsaid. However when strange occurrences begin to infiltrate Casey's life she starts to understand why her mother left her life. Haunted by nightmares and a tortured ghost that strays into her waking life, she turns to the only person who can help her. He is Sendak, a respected and spiritual advisor and possibly the only person who can save her...
For all the bad points, there were a few glimmers among it all. The cinematography in certain scenes, was truly beautiful. The Unborn's score in some scenes was nicely done. Those were the glimmers but in a movie that boasts quite a talent of actors/ actresses and tries to be scary, it fails entirely and falls into the clichéd variety of horror movies. Decency was there but the fact remains, too much of nothing, let this movie down the most.
Casey Bell played by Odette Yustman (Cloverfield): She is a pretty woman yes but is she any good in this? 50/50. There were some rare moments when she showed quite an array of talent but all too often she went motionlessly from scene to scene. To counteract the moments when her acting declined, the director showed her in just underwear and a tank top. In the most low budget of films I can understand this distraction but in a movie that is quite high in budget and as more than enough actors to give depth, it was an unnecessary sidestep.
We get she is beautiful but it was not a need to be thrown into our face. Fresh faced, different she has the opportunity to shine but really she needs to move out of obvious roles and into something different.
Show us what you have girl! I am more than sure there is a wealth of talent there. Passable but nothing special in this.
Sendak played by Gary Oldman (Dracula '1992', The Fifth Element): Dear sir, what happened to you? You used to grace movies I respected, loved and admired, now this? It's not to say Oldman has lost that edge, he was one of the best actors in this movie, but The Unborn was a movie he never needed to go into and I don't want to say this, but it was beneath him. He has a lot of talent that deserves mention and a voice you recognise instantly, but he was lost in this movie. Not to say he didn't try but his acting skills were unnoticed of this movie. A great actor, a bad choice for this movie.
David S. Goyer, writer/ director of Batman Begins and Blade. When I read the back of the DVD, some of the talent that took a part in this movie surprised me and Goyer surprised me the most. Ok, the direction is not awful but it is not exactly fantastic. Now given that this guy wrote / directed Batman Begins and Blade it was rather surprising to know he was the director of this film. His ability to add flavour was lost in this movie and he offered nothing special. A shame, one and truly.
There is a cache of talent that could have heightened this movie and given it some rawness but everyone seemed content which is a shame as the film suffers for it. Taking what seems to be cliché after cliché, it was a lacklustre effort by all accounts.
Like I said cinematography was typical but still beautiful. Recently in a review someone stated that cinematography was always there but it is the movies that have felled the standards it usually comprises. But even in the darkest of a movie that has nothing redeemable about it, all it takes is one little crack to give the faintest of a light and a little of hope. I loved the cinematography, the camera lingering in the air flowing over an entire area coated in snow. Crisp white and an added element it was a little of the factor that kept me watching.
Score? Not magnificent and there were many moments when the score comprised of being loud and over the top to elicit scares which was nothing new, but when moments centred after those came to fore, that was when the music gave a little colour. Soft.
The linger of fingers against a guitar, the grace of fingers pressed against piano keys, the softer component of the score was truly sweet and was one of the better things of the movie.
What Ruined the Movie? The special effects. Yes you read this right.
I love special effects but cannot help thinking movies, and not just horror, have been too reliant on the pull of CGI. It is good but overdone it adds nothing. I long to go back to the days when latex was the main frame of a movie and CGI was barely on the cusp of being discovered. It was fine in this but there was too much for such a short movie. Blood, barely any. Pale kids? Oh yes, this has long been a staple but it is now starting to bug me. I don't mind them but when of late every movie revolves around a white, ashen kid it loses any fear or shudder. The other bug of this movie was the times when the character of Casey supposedly zoned out and saw the child in the background. The strobing effects in the disco were headache inducing and the other times were hyper enough to cause a severe lap of dizziness.
The child morphing into the creepy creation? A case of 'been there, done that and got the t-shirt'. Old, tired and far from scary.
Ok enough of what I felt of the movie. It's one simple question that will say wherever this movie appeals to your good sense? Short answer, no. Long answer, no because it conforms to every horror movie cliché.
It had a few glimmers but a few sparks here and there are not enough to make this movie anything but dull and unappealing. Main leads are derivative and uninspiring, the crisper actors are wasted and the script is tasteless.
But worse than anything? All the scares, all the jolts are what we have seen time and time again. If you can look past the tired and aged, then maybe you might see something I couldn't. But overall this was a short movie that seemed to go on forever. I fell asleep for five minutes, that's how much I liked this.
Watch this if you don't mind the same old rehash but if the sameness is tiring on you, then leave this alone. Not worth buying, hell I am not even sure if this is worth renting. Take a chance, but do not blame me if you finish feeling more annoyed than satisfied.
Overdone, overwrought and a testing watch from beginning to end.