Man, these pro-choice ads are starting to get a little extreme. Odette Yustman, Meagan Good, Idris Elba and Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman star in The Unborn.
Cast of Characters:
Casey Beldon – Odette Yustman
Rabbi Joseph Sendak – Gary Oldman
Romy – Meagan Good
Mark Hardigan – Cam Gigandet
Gordon Beldon – James Remar
Sofi Kozma – Jane Alexander
Arthur Wyndham – Idris Elba
Director – David S. Goyer
Screenplay – David S. Goyer
Producer – Michael Bay, Andrew Form & Brad Fuller
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and terror, disturbing images, thematic material and language including some sexual references
After a bizarre incident while babysitting her neighbors’ child, Casey Beldon (Odette Yustman) begins to experience terrifying, unexplained hallucinations, while repeatedly receiving the message, “Jumby wants to be born now.” Soon after, she learns from her father Gordon (James Remar) that she had a twin brother that died in the womb nicknamed “Jumby”.
Her father’s admission is just the beginning of her problems when she learns that the spirit of her dead twin is haunting her, desiring to finally be born possessed by a dybbuk – a demon originating from Jewish mythology.
The Unborn is brought to you by writer/director David S. Goyer, the man who helped piece together the Dark Knight trilogy with the Nolan brothers and wrote the vastly underrated Dark City and the Blade series. It’s not that Goyer didn’t have it in him to make a bad movie. This is the same guy that wrote Jumper, The Crow: City of Angels and wrote/directed Blade: Trinity. But I guess in an effort to really prove to us he could put together a colossal stinker, he made The Unborn.
Solely riding on the coattails of Goyer’s success with The Dark Knight more than any other movie, The Unborn is what you get when you combine The Exorcist, The Possession and pretty much every other demon possession film and then add onto that an encyclopedia’s worth of exposition… and a hot girl in a tank top and tight panties.
That last one is not a complaint, but merely an observation.
Hey, Goyer may very well be a pervert, but maybe wearing skimpy undergarments is a surefire way to ward off bad spirits. After all, archeologists have discovered through the Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1946 that the apostles Simon Peter and Paul cast out a record number of demonic souls in Antioch by taking on the sword of truth, the breastplate of righteousness and girding their loins with the silken boxers of Nordstrom.
It’s also long been rumored that at the infamous Battle of Jericho, the harlot Rahab sided with Joshua and the Israelites and defended herself against the enemy by donning a lavender Victoria’s Secret teddy, but scholars and historians have recently debunked it as factually untrue.
The teddy was just her normal everyday dress.
SPOILER ALERTS: The problem’s not our fetching protagonist running around in her panties. I mean, something within this messy film had to hold my interest somehow. The problem’s also not Goyer’s inability to genuinely scare us, so he depends on “Boo!” sound effects, creepy kids telling characters they’re gonna die and the always trusty “Don’t close the bathroom mirror – Ahhhh!” gag. What makes this movie fall and then fall some more and then fall even more after that is Goyer’s slobbering infatuation with exposition. Don’t understand what’s going on? Well, don’t worry ’cause Goyer’s gonna explain every minute detail and before long you’ll understand everything even less than you did before. One simple backstory of Casey being haunted by her dead twin wasn’t enough. Nope, to the Devil with any sorta mystery ’cause she then finds out, much to her shocked out of her mind surprise, she had a grandma that she never knew existed.
Okay, in fairness, I shit a cinder brick the day my parents revealed to me that I descended from not just one, not just two, but four grandparents!
It gets better ’cause then the grandma (the cliche, elderly plot explanation role) reveals the film’s fiftieth backstory of how she once had a twin brother, and they were both used in Nazi experiments back in WWII (I guess trying to lay claim to Hellboy and Magneto wasn’t enough), and then the brother got possessed by a dybbuk ’cause I guess demons have a thing for twins (Mary-Kate and Ashley provide a strong argument for that theory). Ironically, the more Goyer explains, the more confusing everything gets. It’s like once he got about three-fourths of the way done with his script, even he didn’t understand what the hell he was talking about, so he figured he’d throw in a Nazi angle like, “Fuck it. They’ll never ask questions as long as I have Nazis as bad guys.”
At the very least, Gary Oldman, in easily the film’s second best performance behind Casey’s thong, shows up about halfway in as the rabbi Casey wants to perform an exorcism on her, even though she’s technically not possessed, but whatever, that’s like the 100th thing wrong here.
“Rabbi, could you maybe exorcise the demon that might soon, well maybe, I’m not exactly sure but still somewhat positive, possess me?”
The movie’s already fallen apart by the time he first appears, but how can you not be entertained by Oldman, especially Oldman in full-on paycheck collecting, Jewish mysticism exorcising chants shouting, rams horn blowing mode? The man could shake the foundations of earth just from ordering at McDonald’s.
“Look. I came in with a simple request that I wanted to be met, and you failed… You’re a Mozart fan. I love him too… I loooooooove Mozart… I know for this type of work he’s a little bit light, but I’m fairly certain even he would have the competency to know that when I order a Big Mac value meal with no cheese, that it means no cheese… I ain’t got… TIIIIIIIIIIIIME… for this Mickey Mouse bull shit!!!! HOW FUCKING HARD IS IT TO TAKE TWO ALL-BEEF PATTIES, SPECIAL SAUCE, LETTUCE, CHEESE, PICKLES AND ONIONS, ALL ON A SESAME SEED BUN AND JUST SUBTRACT THE CHEESE YOU STUTTERING, ILLITERATE FUCK!!!! Now, maybe we can run through this again and maybe if every one of you vegetable head wankers cooperates I can get my large #1 and a Diet Coke done right… EVVVVVVVVERYYYYONNNNNNNNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
You have to wonder if Oldman’s hesitancy to help Casey was coming from his character, or if the light bulb finally clicked on how bad of a film he was in and he was trying to improvise his way out of the movie.
“Well, Casey, you have to realize that dybbuk’s are just folklore elements based in Jewish mythology.”
“But, rabbi, I really need your help.”
“Look, even if dybbuk’s were real, it’s not my area of expertise, so…”
“But, rabbi, you don’t understand. It’s been haunting me for days.”
“Okay, the fact is you just can’t pull an exorcism willy-nilly out of a hat. You need evidence and approval…”
“But, rabbi, my life depends on…”
“Shit, this crazy bitch just won’t take a hint… I mean, I ain’t got… TIIIIIIIIIIIIME… for this Mickey Mouse bull shit!!!!
Laughably incoherent from nearly start to finish, The Unborn would actually make more sense to those easily-entertained kiddies if it was a 90-minute reading of the Torah played in reverse. Much like many of the insipid Asian horror remakes done here in America, the film is handled lazily as it falls back on cheap jump scares, rehashed horror imagery and obligatory creepy kids. But, hey, at least Odette looks hot walking around in her underwear.
Judging from the poster and about 75% of the movie, Rogue and Universal Pictures soundly agree.