The Unborn (2009)
Director: David S. Goyer
Gary Oldman/Rabbi Sendak
A hot brunette with a GREAT ASS (Yustman) and a best girl friend (Good) that â€śdudesâ€ť her all the time sees her life sink to crapola depths when some â€śtwin fetishâ€ť ghost begins to haunt her silly whilst aiming for old fashioned â€śpossessionâ€ť.
This is Platinum Dunes first non remake genre film. Hey, itâ€™s a step forward. Keep going that way guys for the love of original horror! Sadly that doesnâ€™t mean itâ€™s a badass effort. Even though the TRAILERS for THE UNBORN rocked me, I stormed into the theatre with my guards up and my finger on the trigger. January release, PG 13 and the fact that I have yet to LOVE a film that David Goyer has directed prompted that reaction. So as I sat in my seat and the thing began, I was stunned to see myself getting swiftly reeled in like a sedated kid dragged in the Neverland Ranch stables. So was it all that it could be?
Letâ€™s get this out of the way off the bat! The camera simply LOVED Odette Yustman and I couldnâ€™t take my eyeballs off her for a micro-secondâ€¦ talk about photogenicâ€¦ nuts! Nuts I tell ya! Moreover, Goyer put out a visually arresting show that was all about eerie mood (got shades of Nightmare on Elm Street here); fly areal shots, a brilliant milking of the snowy/overcast exteriors and slick cinematography. What a good looking film! If it was a dame, Iâ€™d f*ck it backwards! And was that Gary Oldman cashing in a check I saw? You bet it was! All good, the chap brought classy class to the whole. The initial premise cranked my dial as well. The idea of somebody being possessed by their unborn twin was a groovy one! Alas, the movie didnâ€™t slam the breaks while it was ahead in terms of the WHY behind the lunacy and that was the start of its downfall.
As its story evolved THE UNBORN became a flick that settled for the obvious and tried too hard to be â€śsomething grandâ€ť, instead of running with the GOLD it had in its back pocket. At about the halfway mark, it relentlessly tossed in plot devices from THE EXORCIST, FALLEN and your common J HORROR opus while throwing so much mumbo-jumbo my way that I overdosed on it. Sure it bombed me with bits of dialogue here and there to â€śexplainâ€ť the ever changing rules of the movie but I didnâ€™t buy them. The turn of events didnâ€™t feel organic and true to its narrative. Think more â€śNow what do we do? Huhâ€¦ lets just go for the clichĂ©s yo!â€ť Result? Down the road, I became detached and didnâ€™t really care anymore as to how all of this was going to end.
And what was up with the occasional inane jabber and the shoddy characterization? Some of the lines here were embarrassing and the side characters were rarely more than blatant/paper thin â€śvictimsâ€ť. And I gota get this off my knife; the whole â€śbest friendâ€ť (played by Meagan Good) believes, then doesnâ€™t believe, then believes etc. shtick got old real fast. In fact, it got on my freaking nerves BIG TIME! The fact that she kept calling our heroine â€śdudeâ€ť pissed me off too, but thatâ€™s another story. Buy me a drink or three and weâ€™ll talk. Finally, I wonâ€™t lie to ya; the off-screen kills had me groaning. I mean whatâ€™s the point of a slay if youâ€™re going to cut away so damn early? Takes away from the impact.
So all in all THE UNBORN was a polished film, with a groovy start up idea that gradually clunked out. This is the kind of horror film that my mom would love till the cows come home to become burgers. If you HAVE TO see it because youâ€™re that guy or girl, I say see it on DVD on a Sunday afternoon while getting some well earned oral loving. I have nothing else clever or pathetically lame to say so Iâ€™ll say JACK SQUAT!
What do you think? Take a wild guess! Exactly! Light blood here and there, some quick flashes of somewhat disturbing imagery andâ€¦ wellâ€¦ NATHING!
Odette Yustman (Casey) looked so hot it should be a crime. Her acting chops were also in full gear thus being on the ball throughout except when crappy dialogue would drag her down. Loved her! Gary Oldman (Rabbi Sendak) owns me, you and my ex girlfriends â€“ the dude is entrancing onscreen, even when tackling stuff that is beneath him â€“ like this role. Meagan Good (Romy) was credible when her shitty lines or her â€śdudingâ€ť a girl non stop wouldnâ€™t make her look meh. Cam Gigandet (Mark) came in, said his lines, took off his shirt and said more lines, not much of a part. Dude did fine with what he was given I guess.
T & A
Seeing Odette Yustman in her tidy whities was the equivalent of dying and going to bootie heaven. The ladies get Gigandet shirtless.
I was really impressed by Goyerâ€™s eye on this one. His use of swooping areal shots, powerful slow motion, in focus/out of focus tricks, what notâ€¦ fully did it for me. Suspense wise, he was on when he gave it a shot, but alas the flick went BOO SCARE heavy too soon.
The score was adequate. Nothing more or less. No complaints!
THE UNBORN had a swell early premise, looked slick, had bleak mood to spare, Gary Oldman punching in and a captivating lead in Odette Yustman. The latter brought mucho talent, good looks and a yummy derriere in the ring and I dug that the most!. If the film had went further with its violence, had ducked the obvious and had kept it simple instead of going buck nuts with occult bullshit and every genre cliche in the book, maybe it couldâ€™ve been something. As-is, it was a semi harmless yet totally disposable time killer â€“ thatâ€™s it â€“ thatâ€™s all.
Odette Juliette Yustman was born on May 10 1985 in California and her first role was Rosa in Kindergarten Cop.
The flick was shot in Illinois, USA.
David Goyer also wrote the UNBORN script.
VISIT THE UNBORN WEBSITE HERE