The Night Out: The Unborn (2009), or BOO!!! Did I Scare Ya?

12 01 2009
Uh, you take your clothes OFF in a shower...

Uh, you take your clothes OFF in a shower...

You lucky SOB’s… You get two reviews this week straight from the teat of the movie industry itself! It’s another Night Out for me, and it’s even from this film’s opening weekend! I don’t think you can get luckier than that without wearing a leprechaun-skin jacket. Today we tackle the big horror movie of the week, David S. Goyer’s The Unborn.

We’ve all seen the commercials, we’ve all heard the sound bytes. If you’ve been around enough, maybe you even saw the commemorative coins they made to honor it as the first horror release of 2009 (made from .999 pure silver!). The point is, the marketing fellows at Rogue Pictures want you to see this movie everywhere, and I’m sure you did, depending on how much you pay attention to your surroundings. The problem is, they do not pull the old ‘less is more’ strategy, which might have saved a few scares for you. No, you are assaulted with the creepy boy who wants “to be born now!” and the old man with his crab walk up the stairs. Note to horror movie ad execs: unless you have 500 scares in your movie and you can afford to lose 5, don’t give us 5 scares in the preview.

This is a supernatural horror about creepy children, and how they revolve around one teenage girl. Casey is your everyday Attractive Teenager (patent pending). She hangs out with her attractive friends and her Dreamy Boyfriend (patent pending) all day without a care in the world until one night. She has a frightening cryptic dream involving a fetus in a jar, a child wearing a mask, and a dog. After that, everything starts getting strange for her. She keeps seeing a ghostly boy everywhere she goes, the boy from the dream, who tells her that “Jumby wants to be born now!” “Jumby”? I know. It’s terrifying. Anyway, straaaaange things keep happening to her until she is forced to find help from a more spiritual man, named Rabbi Sendak. Together they try to unravel the mystery of the creepy child and why it is attacking Casey.

Attention, people of the Jewish faith! You’re in luck! This is one of the first Jewish supernatural horror films ever made to my knowledge. OK, so it’s mostly about Jewish mysticism, or Kabbalah, but let me ask you this. How many times have you seen a vampire film or an exorcism film and thought, “All right, all right. That priest did a good job, but my rabbi could unload some ass-kicking as well!” Well this film totally agrees with you, and hired Gary Oldman as the wise and handsome Rabbi Sendak. So there you go! Unfortunately, that is about as much as this film is willing to cater to you or anyone else.

As far as supernatural horror goes, this is passing fare. The concept is okay, the special effects are okay, the talent is okay (although I’ll never figure out how director David Goyer picked up Gary Oldman). Everything is just okay in this movie. It’s not a very high achiever. It never wants to think outside the box, and so it relegates itself to running around a corner and screaming “BOO!” to anyone who will listen. I can’t even work up much more to say about this movie. It was a quick and vapid experience, and already the memory is seeping out of my head like a weary spirit.

So, sorry horror fans. While I do appreciate your genre, I do not appreciate this innocuous movie about twins, Jewish mysticism, and “BOOO!!!!” I am not amused. A very poor first release for 2009, horror movies, shame on you. I give The Unborn 4 1/2 creepy children out of 10. Boo.

See you tomorrow for another surprise film. Yay!!!!

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2 responses

12 01 2009
Bren

No mention about the most awful line in movie history? Wow. You went easy on this one didn’t you?

12 01 2009
cinematronica

SPOILERS AHEAD!!! So as not to ruin the amazing experience that is this film’s story, I did not mention it, but there is a truly terrible line that I cannot believe was actually uttered by human beings. Basically, the strange occurrences happening to Casey are the result of evil Nazi experiments (!!) done on her grandmother and her twin brother in Auschwitz (!!!). And I can’t believe I am about to type this, but her grandmother actually says at one point regarding said occurrences, “Casey, you must finish what began at Auschwitz.”(!!!!) Unintentional, I’m sure, and most people probably did not catch it, but the connotations of that statement are simply awful, and I think perhaps they could have changed up the phrasing on that a bit and we would have been none the wiser.

And honestly, was the movie that bad? It just wasn’t anything. It was like asking for a chocolate milkshake and just getting 2% milk; very bland, but you can’t say the experience scarred you for life.

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