Directed by David S. Goyer.
Written by David S. Goyer.
Starring Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, Meagan Good and Idris Elba.
Release Year: 2009
Review Date: 1/8/09
2009 picks up right where 2008 left
off...with a film that has a great trailer, pedigree, some promise,
and a near-complete-dogshit final product.
"The Unborn" had me when I first saw the
trailer a few months ago. Some spooky images, a script and
direction by the guy that co-wrote
"The Dark Knight"
and the "Blade" films, my man Gary Oldman and the promise of R-rated
Then, I learned the film was actually a
PG-13 (whoops). Then, I saw that the writer/director, David S.
Goyer, actually helped bring "Death Warrant" to the screen and he
also directed the worst of the "Blade" flicks,
Then I had the chance to catch a free showing of this film tonight,
and it was pretty friggin' terrible, right down to an ending so bad
the entire row of four women in front of me yelled at the screen
when the lights came up.
Odette Yustman (actually fairly hot for her
bulky, somewhat ugly name) stars as Casey, a woman who is having
some bad dreams. How bad? Well, in them, dogs wear
masks, little boys look like their skin is falling off and maggots,
termites and what appear to be monster-sized tarantulas bleed out of
tile floors. Casey takes this, plus the fact that her left eye
is two colors, and gathers enough information to learn that not only
is she a twin (her mom hung herself in a mental hospital over this,
partially), but that this twin really wants to be born now, and will
find a way into this world whether Casey likes it or not.
Seeking help, she finds a rabbi (Oldman) who helps get an exorcism
set up to get that freakin' demon outta there!
I'll give the film this--it is short, and it
does have a couple of pretty cool/spooky images that appear first in
Casey's dreams before crossing over. And, both Yustman and
co-star Meagan Good are pretty hot, even if they are not working
their way towards Oscar-caliber careers. From there, the film
goes right into the shitter. The film's scares are so-so, but
if you've seen the film's trailer, then you are really out of luck,
because most of said scares are locked into the trailer. The
movie is 75% Yustman, and sadly, she is not convincing/can't
act...and, throughout, you will keep thinking that Megan Fox was the
first choice for this film, but we ended up with Yustman. Both
of them can't act, but Fox would have drawn oodles more cash to the
film's final gross.
Then, there's the story, which revolves
around how this Unborn thing is apparently something that happens to
each generation in this family...blah. There are hilariously
bad unexplainable moments, like when Casey discovers a film that
apparently shows Mom walking around an empty asylum before she kills
herself...or, when Casey is running from the Unborn thing and needs
to finish reading a passage from a book that has just been scattered
into hundreds of pages on a floor and--on the run--picks up the
exact one page she needs to finish the exorcism. Then, there's
a token, no-good cameo by Idris Elba (Stringer Bell, "The Wire"),
and a token, no-good cameo by Carla Gugino, who apparently was just
hangin' around on the set one day and wanted to do a day's worth of
work in this shitfest.
Then, there's that terrible ending.
What was interesting for me during the
running time was how much I held on, hoping that the movie was going
to get better. I didn't dismiss it right away, like I should
have...no, I kept pulling for it to get good, and of course, that
never happened. This is bad, but that won't stop it from
making big cash in its first weekend, since nothing else new is
coming out and The People need something to do now that all of the
Oscar-type films have been released. Ugh.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard