Friday, January 9, 2009

Jumby wants to be born now

Casey Beldon (Odette Yustman) hated her mother for leaving her as a child. But when inexplicable things start 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 spiritual advisor, Sendak (Gary Oldman), who can make it stop. With Sendak’s help, 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.

Written and directed David Goyer, The Unborn stars Odette Yustman as Casey, a Chicago coed who suspects something is just too weird for words when both boy and canine ghosts start joining her while out jogging. She eventually tracks down her hunches to an institutionalized mom who committed suicide, a twin brother she never knew about who died in the womb, and assorted other twins dating back to the Holocaust who may or may not hold the key to multiple birth demonic possession. At wit's end, not to mention utterly frazzled, Casey seeks help from Rabbi Sendak (Gary Oldman doing a bad imitation of a rabbi), a Kabbala guru who happens to know a thing or two about exorcism. After enlisting the co-exorcist aid of a basketball coach cleric (Idris Elba), the determined duo tie Casey to a gurney in an abandoned building, and get down to business. After much prolonged mayhem and spirit fleeing, it turns out that just a good swat with a crowbar will do the trick nicely. The Unborn is a mostly outlandish tale of really possessive, attention deficit disorder dybuks who can't make up their mystical minds about which body is cool enough to inhabit. And concocted by inane idea gurus who think that genocide and motherhood make for really effective spooky narrative devices to exploit, but bad taste would be a better description. And though some of the images are on the terrifying side, like those supernatural creatures with their heads screwed on backwards, the same might be said of that what was he thinking filmmaker. Partway through The Unborn, an elderly Holocaust survivor writes an ominous letter to her young granddaughter: "It has fallen upon you to finish what was started in Auschwitz." That's a lot of pressure to put on a petite horror-film heroine, especially one who repeatedly forgets to wear something more than low-rise panties and a ribbed tank while inspecting strange noises in her darkened house. It's also a lot of historical weight to dump on a genre flick. Then again, any film that features Gary Oldman as a rabbi with exorcism powers isn't asking to be taken seriously. Writer-director David S. Goyer pulls every trick he can to get a rise from his audience, with varying results. The freak-out sequences (hey, everything's back to normal!) are overly familiar and the pop-up monsters quickly lose their novelty. But a frenetic chase through an old-age home packs a few punches, as does the crunchy climax. It helps if you haven't seen "The Exorcist," or for that matter any horror film. If the use of Nazi atrocities as a MacGuffin for cheap thrills offends you, The Unborn isn't your movie. If, however, you appreciate the sight of a half-naked beauty being terrorized by potato bugs, look no further.
A saddend 3 on my "Go See" scale and that's being nice.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

u r an idiot that film was great

Anonymous said...

this film sucked ass.

Anonymous said...

Unborn is a kick ass film, Jumby is a legendddddddd!!! Me and my cousins love this film, gonna buy it on dvd, so shut your gob mate.

S.A.M. said...

I admit it is not a masterpiece, but i found it to be a watchable movie

Anonymous said...

Bang on perfect review. I'm ashamed to say I sort of liked it.

Anonymous said...

I like what you've written. Its for those who get excited by seeing naked women megan fox style run away and be terrorized in their undies. No artistic value, not even a good horror...

Anonymous said...

started seeing it on the treadmill in the gym, almost fell off when she looked behind the mirror

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