The convoluted mess of a plot doesn't even try to win you over; it just employs one sad old trick after another; a crumbling insane asylum, tricky mirrors and doorways-there's even the medicine cabinet mirror trick that I have complained about so often. The newest twists thrown in are some hints of Jewish folklore, the Kabbalah and crickets from Jerusalem. The snappy and clearly intended-to-be-witty dialogue tries to distract, but it's so off the hook that you'll want to run out and rent your favorite horror movie to wash the memory out of your eyes.
The gist is that doe-eyed Casey (Odette Yustman) is plagued by bad dreams that start coming true involving a boy-faced dog with an upside down head, a mysterious blue glove, a lot of snarling fangs and blue eyes, and a menacing possessed boy (looking like a Malcolm in the Middle refugee). Then there's a group of supremely immature college friends-the only way you know they're not in high school is that they go out and have cocktails. After gratuitous scenes in which Casey shows us what she looks like almost naked in skin-tight jeans and/or panties, she pulls out all her detective skills. Assisted by best friend Romy (Meagan Good) they find her long-lost grandmother Sofi (Jane Alexander) in an old folk's home.
Alexander uses the oldest form of bad German dialect ever-merely substituting her W's with V's. Blathering away, she tells a story that's so infused with idiocy and fiction that it defies comprehension. Turns out Casey had a twin who died while they were in the womb and it's now trying to posses and inhabit a body in the mortal world. There is also a link to the past involving Auschwitz and Nazis conducting genetic experiments and messing with the occult (last time they did this we got Hellboy). Their horrid experiments included changing brown eyes to blue-to think after all these years that's what Crystal Gayle was singing about.
The writing really suffers the most when Casey confronts people about her troubles. They feign ignorance, but within seconds are regurgitating volumes of info to instill even more unbelievable tripe. Oldman is so bland in this role it boggles the mind. I used to go see movies he was in just to see what diabolical/maniacal take on a character he would devise. It's simply not the case here.
Writer/director David S. Goyer, responsible for co-writing The Dark Knight (which was all over the map), keeps his direction here too heavy handed and slicked up, no doubt prompted by producer Michael Bay, who seems intent on destroying all the perfect horror movies of the '70s (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday The 13th). The Unborn attempts a Ring or Grudge atmosphere. But this one isn't even based on a Japanese horror movie, so it only has itself to blame.
The Unborn's verbal nonsense, which tries to set the film up as a Jewish Exorcist, is enough to numb your mind. I predict most people will only sit through this debacle waiting for the next jolt-scare or vicious blue-eyed-fang-face or unexplained slimy tentacles to squirm out of a wall or the next barf scene or the preposterous fictitious symptoms by doctors or oh... forget it. A sequel is set up, but there's no franchise in this film.
Starring Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman Jane Alexander. Written directed by David S. Goyer. Rated PG 13