Director: David S. Goyer
Cast: Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, Cam Gigandet,
Meagan Good, Carla Gugino, Jane Alexander, Idris Elba, Rhys
Coiro, James Remar
RunTime: 1 hr 27 mins
Released By: UIP
Rating: PG (Horror)
Official Website: http://www.theunbornmovie.net/
Opening Day: 26 March 2009
Writer/director David Goyer (Blade: Trinity, The
Invisible, Batman Begins) gives a terrifying
glimpse into the life of the undead in The Unborn,
a supernatural thriller that follows a young woman pulled
into a world of nightmares when a demonic spirit haunts her
and threatens everyone she loves.
Other life’s greatest mysteries aside, one thing that has been continually bugging us is how horror movies continue getting made despite the repeated formulae. Who hasn’t seen the ghastly figure in the window? Who hasn’t seen the bugs which creep out of toilet bowls? Who hasn’t seen the protagonist’s best friends being disposed of one by one? Who hasn’t seen demon children haunting seemingly innocent adults because they want to seek revenge?
Yes, we have seen these plots being weaved into countless horror movies before, and why is that we are getting another one directed and written by David Goyer, who has been labeled by the marketing folks as, gasp, the co-writer of the almost perfect Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008)? Did they actually think that viewers will be buying tickets to enter the cinema expecting a first rate horror movie? Err, for the record, it is rated with a tame PG by our friends at the censorship board, so you can know what to expect.
To be fair, the story does have some potential to send chills down your spine. This supernatural thriller tells the tale of a young girl who becomes involved in exorcism when she realizes that a demonic spirit is haunting her and giving hell lot of a time to her loved ones. Plagued by endless nightmares and strange happenings, the girl is determined to uncover the mystery behind this unpleasant phenomenon.
Truth be told, we could uncover the mystery within half an hour of the movie. So why is it that the filmmakers have to use 89 minutes to tell the story? To make you squirm and fidget in your seats, of course.
Initially, the movie does manage to set up the mood nicely, creating sinister and frightening atmospheres which may scare the weak hearted. But alas, this eventually turns into bore and what we get are the characters facing threats which, well, are not that threatening anymore. The movie picks up speed at its last 20 odd minutes with its exorcism rites, but viewers would have lost momentum by then.
The grey cinematography by James Hawkinson (The Hitcher) enhances the storytelling, if we really must say. The suppressed score by Ramin Djawadi (Iron Man) is aptly dark without being melodramatic to complement the storytelling, if we must really say.
One thing which may interest viewers of the male species is lead actress Odette Yustman ‘s (Cloverfield), to put it bluntly, hot bod. Seeing her clad in her nighties may just please male viewers to such an extent that they would forget they are watching a horror flick. Cast members also include the respected Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight) as the rabbi who performs exorcism rites on our heroine, the rather amusing Meagan Good (The Love Guru) as the unassuming best friend and child actor Atticus Shaffer (Hancock) as the demonic child.
When the finale is over, and you are dished with an ending that you saw coming, you’d think to yourself: the mystery of why horror movies like this continue to be made will not be solved very soon.
Review by John Li
(A horror movie that doesn’t differentiate itself from the tons of others you’ve seen.)