THE UNBORN (UNRATED)
Reviewed by: Zombie Boy
David S. Goyer
What's it about
A young college girl must battle a malevolent entity bent on killing everyone she loves...and then her.
Is it good movie?
Casey Beldon seems to all eyes to be the perfect ideal of post-adolescence. She is beautiful, dresses nattily, attends college, and has a cut boyfriend and a loyal BFF. She lives in a nice home with her well-to-do father. But underneath the veneer lies a child still wounded by the suicide of her mother. After an altercation with the four-year old she is babysitting, things start to fall to pieces in Casey's perfect world. She becomes haunted both by her and her mother's past, and also by a very real specter with a not so nice agenda.
The Unborn is a promising little picture. The desaturated cinematography is a little cliche by this point, but serves the mood of this piece very well. The visions Casey has are nicely nasty and gory, and disturbing images abound. From a dog with its head on upside down to her suicided mother coming after her out of a toilet stall, there are plenty of moments in this film that will drop your stomach out and make you squinch your eyes.
Unfortunately, disturbing images do not a good movie make. For all its earnest attempts at creepiness, The Unborn just can't hold up in the plot department. Logic problems abound, and the motivation and even the origin of the evil spirit wax and wane like Gary Oldman's accent. By the time the film gets to its incongruous conclusion, you'll be baffled by all the snippets left to the side. The Auschwitz angle dangled tantalizingly in front of us, and the psychological comfort/discomfort of being a twin are all but ignored so we can have a fight scene.
And this may just be my fevered-geek brain overworking, but the film had a Frankensteinian patchwork feel, like it was culled together from parts of other movies. There were many scenes that called to mind other genre films, most notably a certain segment involving an old man whose head does something it is not supposed to. This went from The Exorcist's spider-walk scene directly into the end stage Pretorious monster from From Beyond. There were many more instances like that...but like I said, that may just be me.
Video / Audio
Video: Anamorphic widescreen, 2.40:1. The transfer looks excellent, and as I already stated, the desaturation works well for the mood.
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, so you won't miss any of the shatteringly-loud jump scares. There are optional English, Spanish, and French subtitles.
The film can be viewed either with the theatrical PG-13 rating, or as the unrated version (a difference of approximately one minute). Other than that, the only special feature is:
Deleted Scenes: a collection of about half a dozen scenes, none really worth mentioning. Nothing relevant to the plot, just stuff apparently cut for time and pace.
The Unborn is by no means a bad film, just one that starts to sag in the middle, and spends lots of energy trying to piece itself together enough to get to the end. Watch it for the really creepy visuals and Yusman in her underwear, just don't try to ascribe too much sense to the outcome.