30 March, 2009

"The Unborn" Film Review

I loved the trailer. I just wish I didn’t waste so much money to actually watch the movie.

The Unborn is a supernatural horror film directed and written by David S. Goyer in 2009. The film stars Odette Yustman, Meagan Good, Gary Oldman, Cam Gigandet, Ethan Cutkosky, James Remar, and Jane Alexander.

Another one watch wonder, if it even warrants a “wonder.” To be fair, 90% of horror movies can only be watched once to get the maximum scare effect, a rewatch would simply be like replaying a live play. I’ve had more fun watching The Strangers, and I wasn’t too kind to that movie either. The thing is, The Unborn has no brain. I mean, it doesn’t require thinking. Or rather, it pretends to require you to think, before you realize that you’ll like the film more if you don’t invest your few precious neurons to it. In The Strangers, your curiosity is endlessly piqued because you want to know about those psychopathic killers and you’re constantly wondering what will happen next and why, so you do get some justifiable thrill. With the Unborn, sure, you’re wondering why, but then the movie feeds you these backgrounds, histories, and reasons that are totally unreasonable and then you figure out that the best way to enjoy the metaphysical-ness of the story is to ignore it all. And all you can do is just wait for the scary parts to do their job. But do they do their job?

The dog with the human mask was creepy as hell, all the kids were creepy as hell (extra kudos to Ethan Cutkosky), and the exorcist twist-off was creepy as hell, but everything else in between was just a waste of time. The scare factors itself weren’t all too bad, with the surround sound and dark ambiance of the movie theater, it can certainly give you chills, I actually felt a few good goosebumps that weren’t caused by the typical freezing temperature of the movie house. The audience reactions were also a hoot, I loved hearing the movie goers scream, and giggle, a lot.

Odette Yustman, also known as the Jessica Alba and Megan Fox hybrid, tried in vain to carry the movie. It was a little hard for me to take her acting seriously when she’s strutting her panty-clad ass towards the screen. The only sparkling personality is Meagan Good, who plays the inevitably killed best friend. That’s only a spoiler if you’re too dense to realize that best friends always die in these horror films. I kinda cheered quietly when I saw Gary Oldman on the screen. With his appearance, I thought maybe the movie would grant us a little sense to make the average intellectual happy. But then, he and his Christian priest friend decided to sprout off pretentious facts about the history of the world, religion, and the almighty dybbuk, and I just started to zone out until the final showdown.

Overall, The Unborn is twice as fun (which still isn’t as fun as you’d want) if you watch it in its run in the theaters, but was the ticket price ultimately worth it? Not to me.