The Unborn (2009)
The premise, pretty darn scary – whilst Casey Beldon (Odette Annable) is babysitting she has a horrific nightmare about an evil little child and a dog with an upside down head *cue terror*. After figuring out she’s being haunted and doing a little digging she uncovers that she had a twin brother that died in the womb and puts two and two together. She finds a letter from a woman called Sofi Kozma and goes to visit her in a retirement home. It is here that she learns all about the horrific experiments performed on Sofi and her brother during the holocaust and the truth behind the ‘dybbuk’, who is trying to claw his way inside Casey. So where did The Unborn go so wrong?
I have heard many critics and fans call it the worst horror movie ever made, and whilst it’s nowhere near the best, or even the good, I’d still rather watch The Unborn twice daily than White Noise even just one more time, but that’s my own gripe…
The problem starts early on. The central concept behind the plot is not at all bad, in fact, if done well, it could have been one of the scariest films of the noughties, but it’s the getting there and the conclusion that this film really struggles with. From the beginning, we are introduced to our main characters Casey, boyfriend Mark (Cam Gigandet) and best friend Romy (Meagan Good) through a series of hammy horror clichés, which whilst when utilised well can be really effective, were used in absence of any form of character building. It feels like the movie just cannot wait to get to it’s next scary scene and anything in between is merely filler, and whilst yes, some of the scenes actually are bloody terrifying, without the glue to hold it together, most of the punch is lost.
Our main character Casey is played by Odette Annable (previously Yustman) who you will probably recognise from Cloverfield. Well, I would have preferred it if best friend Romy was the lead, at least I liked her. Casey just has absolutely nothing about her, she is literally just ‘blah’. Jane Alexander who played Sofi had something of a poor man’s Vanessa Redgrave about her and I found her ‘story telling’ added most of the substance to the film. Plus, how could I forget the scene with the possessed old man chasing her – that actually did really give me the creeps.
My main gripe with The Unborn however, is the end. They bring Gary Oldman in as a rabbi, but then he attempts to exorcise Casey of a demon that actually hasn’t yet managed to possess her. Go figure…