August 1, 2009

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The Unborn is an example of how the theatrical trailers trump up a better experience than the film itself is able to offer. Though seemingly terrifying from the three minute clip in theaters, the flick is deluded with mediocrity, sporadic storytelling, cliché hooks, and heartless characters performed by less that convincing actors. My review is after the jump:

the_unborn_movie_image_odette_yustman1.jpgThe story, which sounds scary on paper, focuses on Casey Beldon, a young woman who has begun having strange, disturbing dreams – dreams that bleed over into her everyday life – all of which involve a demonic child. Events begin to intensify daily, as the ghost begins to lash out on the physical world, harming everyone around Casey. As everyone around her begins to die one by one, Casey must find a way to banish the evil being, before its grotesque plan comes to fruition.

Though the idea did have some promise, the filmmakers butchered the film.

To begin with, there is absolutely set up to lead viewers into the events. The spooky moments begin within 30 seconds of the movie, and stay extremely vague until well into the film. There is no chance to become involved in the unfolding story, causing very little audience reaction. To further this problem, the film strangely jumps around in progression, starting to reveal something, then completely dropping the idea until far into the film, and when mentioned, is only explained very briefly, then discarded. It’s almost like being told a story from a forgetful narrator; you get the jest of it, but do not really feel a part of it.


The characters themselves are dismally written. None of the characters have any real background to speak of, and feel completely unreal throughout the film. None of them are given any real traits to identify with. For example, Casey, the main female character, goes to school, but the viewer probably will not even know if it is college or high school. She looks and acts young enough to be a high schooler, but the classroom she attends looks exactly like a college lecture hall, so who knows. In all honesty, do not be surprised if you do not even remember her name throughout most of the film. This is only intensified by the average acting job done by Odette Yustman. Many will acknowledge that horror films can be difficult to be in, as seeming to really be horrified can push an actor to their edge, and to this end Yustman does not do a horrible job, but she does not do a spectacular job. The one shining hope this film had was Gary Oldman, who unfortunately is seen for only a handful of scenes.

The absolute worst part of this film was the extremely easy to guess hook that they filmmakers tried to conceal. Within 15 minutes, the viewer will have guessed what the reason behind all of the haunting is, due mostly to the painfully obvious tactics of the filmmakers, and when the hook is everything but spelled out for the audience, the movie completely drops the idea, and does not touch it until, quite literally, the last minute of the  film. To add to this, the movie ends in a very predictable, sequel laden way, which, again, the audience had already guessed was going to happen long before they saw it on the screen.

As far as the DVD is concerned, there are basically no extras to explore, and what is there, is not worth the watch. The only extras are the deleted scenes from various parts of the movie, all of which are scenes that the director should have never shot to begin with. Each deleted scene is simply one that did make it into the final cut, but was just lengthened by the character climbing up a set of stairs, flipping through a book, searching a bookshelf, or something else which is completely mundane. The ‘unrated’ version of the film is exactly one minute longer than the rated one. Guess how much different they are…

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