Saturday, January 17, 2009
REVIEW: The Unborn
Director: David S. Goyer
Starring: Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, Meagan Good, Cam Gigandet, Idris Elba
Distributor: Rogue Pictures
MPAA: Rated PG-13
I'll admit, I was somewhat eager to see The Unborn. When I first caught glimpse of its trailer, I thought it looked alittle scary. Their aren't that many movies these days that tend to look scary or are scary, but The Unborn looked pretty scary to me judging by the trailer. Not only that, but the poster itself made me cave. I mean who wouldn't see a movie when the films poster has Odette Yustman on the cover in a nice sexy shot? Its also been awhile since I saw a horror movie and this was the only one in theaters that actually looked kind of scary.
Casey Beldon (Odette Yustman) is plagued by visions of strange looking dogs, and an evil child with bright blue eyes. After being hit with a mirror by her neighbor's son, Casey's eyes begin to change color and she learns she had a twin brother who died in the womb. Casey begins to suspect that the spirit haunting her is the soul of her dead twin, being possessed and wanting to be born so it can transfer to the world of the living.
The plot for the film is so un-original and has been done many times before. I mean the film can be somewhat interesting if your into films about exorcism, but it just didn't cut it for me. It didn't help that the dialogue was also pretty bad. It amazes me that David S. Goyer wrote and directed this film. I mean this is the guy who co-wrote Batman Begins and The Dark Knight with director Christopher Nolan. I mean the writing in both the Batman films weren't perfect, but they are a whole lot better that what we have in this film. The dialogue isn't the worst I have seen or anything like that, but its a disappointment when compared to some of the other films Goyer wrote. The ending is also a bit of a surprise and not what I was predicting. I thought it was appropriate and probably the only ending that would have made sense. The Unborn is also a weak scary movie. I thought the trailers looked pretty scary, but the film itself hardly holds a candle to other scarier films. Their were only like 1 or 2 spots that actually made me sake, but last years "The Strangers" had alot more. Honestly, The Unborn seems like a horror flick that would have made a good movie trailer and not an actual movie. Theirs just too many things that don't add up and when they do, they aren't satisfying.
Odette Yustman plays as the main character of the film, Casey Beldon. She does an alright job in her role, but I don't think I found her character to be scared of her surroundings. I mean you would think the main character of the film would be somewhat scared when she finds out that she has an unborn evil brother, but she didn't seem too scared. Other than that, I found her to be very sexy in her role. Gary Oldman plays as Rabbi Sendak and it makes you wonder why a good actor like him is in a low budget horror flick like this. He seems pretty wasted in this movie and never manages to convince me hes in character. Its like he filmed his scenes in a few days and got the hell out of their. Meagan Good plays as Casey's best friend, Romy. She seems like the only person in the film that actually seems like shes enjoying her role. She isn't great, but she gets her job done. We also have Cam Gigandet playing as Casey's boyfriend, Mark Hardigan. He plays the typical guy in any horror movie and doesn't bring anything new to the table that we haven't seen before. I guess his acting is sufficient, but not great.
The visual look of the movie is pretty great and is probably the only thing really positive about the movie. The special effects for the film seem pretty good, but I have seen better. I also find it aliitle weird that theirs hardly any blood effects in the film. Being a new release, The Unborn is relatively a good looking movie. I didn't detect any film grain and the film always seemed clean of artifacts. Colors seemed slightly muted with an overcast feel to them, but was generally strong. The film was mostly shot in darker scenes that don't contain much lighting and some of the later scenes show this. Black levels are strong for the most part except for a few scenes which felt alittle flat. Flesh tones are spot on and have a natural feeling to them. Detail is also on the strong side and features some nicely detailed shots. Close up shots show good detail and everything looks the way it should.
The soundtrack in The Unborn is just so average at best. Theirs hardly anything in the films soundtrack that I would personally listen to. The film doesn't have a score that's worth mentioning. A good score would have easily helped this film seem much more scarier than it is. With the right amount of music, the film could have been so much more. I would have seriously taken a page from The Strangers in this department. Bass is slightly above average, but still doesn't do much to impress. Dynamics are nice and even, but the film still feels alittle soft in the form of its bass. A strong bass would have also helped this film alot considering theirs one scene in particular that I thought would have benefited alot. This is the scene where Casey is pinned against the ceiling upside down looking at her sleeping body. The bass would have helped this scene greatly.
The Unborn honestly feels like another average horror flick that's based on exorcism. It doesn't bring anything new or creative to the horror genre. The film starts off somewhat interesting, but just doesn't maintain that interest and feels like another get to point A from point B film. It also doesn't help that the film itself isn't very scary or bloody which is usually the right ingredients in making a good horror movie. The cast is decent at best, but even they cant make a bad movie any good. The visual look of the film is great with some strong black levels and a good amount of detail. The soundtrack is forgettable and hardly enticing. A good score and a good amount of bass could have helped this film alot. I cant say I enjoyed The Unborn, but I also cant admit that its the worst movie I have seen. Its just a disappointing film that doesn't deliver, but is somewhat decent compared to some other horrible horror flicks I have seen in the past.