Saturday, January 10, 2009
Goyer was someone that I had originally liked and respected. Early in his career he wrote solid scripts for Dark City and Blade . But he lost all my respect when he wrote and directed Blade Trinity, an embarrassing sequel pumped up to a cartoonish level of testosterone. The Unborn is not as bad as Blade Trinity but it wastes more talent. How this recycled tale of evil in the shape of an eerie little boy attracted Gary Oldman and Jane Alexander, I'll never know. Hopefully they were lured by a big paycheck.
The story involves a young woman named Casey (Odette Yustman of Cloverfield... and does anyone else think she has the same plastic beauty as Megan Fox?) who discovers that she's a twin and that her brother died in utero. Now his unborn spirit apparently wants to be born. And oh did I mention that this evil spirit or dybbuk (a spirit searching for a human host) has been lurking around since it first reared its ugly head in a concentration camp where Nazis were doing bizarre experiments on twins. Maybe I'm giving away too much but I'm hoping that by revealing the absurdity of this plot twist some people will realize how dumb this film is.
The only thing the film can boast about is a couple of cool effects shots with strangely contorted bodies and Yustman in her underwear. Aside from that there's nothing of note here. The story makes no sense at all, the scares are so predictably mundane that you might miss them, and the actors are all adrift. The creepy spirit boy looks a bit like the ghostly lad in Guillermo Del Toro's The Devil's Backbone . But that visually similarity only makes you remember how good Del Toro's film was and how bad Goyer's is by comparison.
The Unborn (rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and terror, disturbing images, thematic material and language including some sexual references) is a dull disappointment. It's also yet another example of how far Goyer has fallen. I don't think I'll be looking forward to any more of his films.
Companion viewing: Inside, The Devil's Backbone, Rosemary's Baby