The Unborn Directed by: David S. Goyer Cast: Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, Meagan Good, Cam Gigandet Running Time: 1 hr 30 min Rating: PG 13
Plot: A preposterously helpless and shrill girl in underpants is tortured by a spirit in the form of a creepy, cow-eyed boy. With stupidity and powerlessness on her side, she gets almost everyone close to her killed off.
Who’s It For? The gaggle of screaming meemees sitting behind me with the collective IQ of 77, who must lick the lead paint in their off-time.
Expectations: Good horror is so hard to find these days. I marched into this film expecting crap in a turd-shaped box, but I secretly hoped for something surprising. Although, as soon as you see previews showcasing incompetent teenagers in their underwear, game over, man.
Odette Yustman as Casey: The only way this character could’ve managed to be more incapable and helpless would require a profound vegetative state, and actually, I wondered once or twice if I was just seeing reflexive twitches. The character makes choices that are so incredibly stupid, it’s like she’s consciously asking herself, “What would a thinking person do?” and then decidedly heads the other way. Yustman is attractive and the movie tries to appeal to the lowest common denominator by having her wander around in her panties and have wistful moments in the shower, but honestly, I started rooting for the evil spirit. Score: 2
Gary Oldman as Rabbi Sendak: Et tu, Gary? Score: 2
Meagan Good as Romy: Romy is Casey’s BFF, and she is stalwart and loyal. She’s also abrasive, shrill, and badly written. Romy serves the purpose as the friend who is skeptical when it furthers the plot, and then a believer when any normal person would be packing their bags and kissing their doomed friend the big buh-bye. Too bad about the whole evil spirit thing, Casey—hope it works out in the end. Score: 2
Cam Gigandet as Mark: This character was agonizingly puerile, which is fine in a horror movie as long as that person drops dead first; except he doesn’t, so we, the audience, are forced to spend precious moments of our finite lives with this juvenile dolt. Score: 1
Talking: At one point, after the evil spirit has stalked Casey for a good forty minutes of spooky mayhem, Mark (Casey’s boyfriend) says to her, “I don’t think you’re crazy, I just think you’re hormonal.” Quick shout-out to the fellas: if your girlfriend is being gradually overtaken by a hell demon, don’t accuse her of being premenstrual. You’re liable to earn yourself a punch to the head. Score: 2
Sights: The ominous imagery isn’t that bad and there are some highlights. The bulldog wearing the blank, white mask would’ve been creepy enough, if said bulldog wasn’t making loud snorfle noises behind the mask because he couldn’t breathe. The pitbull with the upside down head was interesting, but at that point, way too little too late. And enough with the snowy desolation, already. This movie is like someone with a flashlight under their chin saying, “It was dark…and snowy…and there weren’t any people around because…it was on an empty roooaaaad!! Wooooooooooo!" Score: 4
Sounds: There was nothing notable—music, sound effects, etc. And, spending any time writing about it feels like reflecting back on what sort of cheese snacks they served on the Hindenburg. Score: 1
Best Scene: See snorfling bulldog scene. Unfortunately, this scene happens in the first two minutes, and after that it’s a slow, rocky crawl to dreary nowhere.
Ending: On a badness scale, it’s off the charts. I can only assume it is big enough to house multiple galaxies and is vaguely soccer ball shaped, but I won’t know for sure until the technology has been perfected.
Questions: “Why did I watch this movie?” comes to mind, along with “Don’t I have better things to do?” and “Maybe I should reevaluate the way I spend my time?” And then, of course, the old classic, “Will my friend ever go to a movie with me again?”
Rewatchability: …really? It’s like I’m talking to myself, here.
If you want a really strong female character without the Kung Fu or the big guns, check out Julia Ormond in Smilia’s Sense of Snow. At this point, it’s wandered into obscurity, but there is a damaged, complex, and unrelentingly gritty character. She can handle any situation no matter how dangerous or insane and she does it all out of love for a murdered child.
In The Unborn, our heroine can’t protect herself, her friends, her family, or anyone who comes into contact with her—nor does she put a lot of effort into trying. At the same time, she manages to survive, which just goes to show that the evil spirit isn’t playing with a full deck, either. If both the protagonist and the antagonist are morons, then it levels out the playing field, but it’s darned painful to sit through.
Final Score: 2/10