When you see or hear David Goyer’s name attached to a project, you immediately expect a certain quality and feel when indulging in his films. I mean, we’re talking about the guy who has written the Blade films, the two newest Batman films, and Dark City. From a moneymaking standpoint, the guy obviously knows a good project when he sees it. Look at his production track record, which includes Ghost Rider and Mission to Mars. His directing efforts have not been as easily accepted or received so well – Blade: Trinity, The Invisible, etc. Well, now you can add The Unborn to this list.
The Unborn deals with “Casey Beldon [who] hated her mother for abandoning her as a child. But when inexplicable events begin to happen, Casey begins to understand why she left. Plagued by merciless dreams and a tortured ghost that haunts her waking hours, she must turn to the only person, Rabbi Sendak, who can make it stop. With the help of Sendak, her best friend Romy and boyfriend Mark, Casey uncovers the source of a family curse dating back to Nazi Germany–a creature with the ability to inhabit anyone or anything that is getting stronger with each possession. With the curse unleashed, her only chance at survival is to shut a doorway from beyond our world that has been pried open by someone who was never born.
It seems that all his movies have great premises and seem to have a lot of potential. They just lose something in the filmmaking process somehow. It’s the same with The Unborn. He has some really great ideas and some very interesting angles to explore about possession and exorcism from the angle of Jewish religion. This makes the film come off as a bit different, instead of using the typical Judaeo-Christian standpoint that is taken in so many movies of this type. I just couldn’t shake the “based on an Asian horror movie” vibe that this movie took on, as usual with American horror movies coming out lately. There’s the weird kids that are all creepy and showing up out of nowhere. And don’t even get me started about the overused “mirrors are doorways to the other side” idea that is used in this as well.
This is not to say that the movie doesn’t have any genuine thrills to it. There are some good jump moments, but overall, it just boils down to the same old same old again. The cinematography looks really good and is genuinely dark. Odette Yustman does a great job with her role as the convincingly tormented and scared Casey Beldon. Gary Oldman brings an air of royalty and class to his role as Rabbi Sendak. He takes the role seriously as he does with every one he embraces. And then there’s the typical boyfriend named Mark and played by Cam Gigandet (Twilight, The O.C., The Young and the Restless). The whole movie, you are constantly trying to figure out what this attractive and very smart girl is doing with such an oaf for a boyfriend. Add to the mixture the typical best friend figure played by Meagan Good (Saw V, One Missed Call, Stomp the Yard), who is basically there for support. She’s also the exact opposite of the lead character, pretty much focused on sex, griping at everyone, and dealing with other ridiculous teenage issues.
Overall, I would have to say that anyone looking for a good scare is going to walk away from this one feeling pretty unfulfilled. It’s going to make you wish you would have just went to Blockbuster and picked up one of the new Asian horror films or the original Exorcist to see it done the right way. Here’s to hoping that if X-Men Origins: Magneto does end up getting made, David Goyer truly focuses on bringing something new to the table. I don’t think the world can take another X3.
Source: Yahoo! Movies