Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Unborn

The Unborn 2009
Director: David S. Goyer
Writer: David S. Goyer
Starring Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, Cam Gigandel, Meagan Good, Idris Elba, Jane Alexander, James Remar, Carla Gugino and Atticus Shaffer

A few people I know had said this was a good little horror film, so I decided to roll the dice and check it out. And I am glad I did. It was a very original take on the demonic possession genre. Some people look at it as a Jewish knock off of the Exorcist, but I did not find it to be like that. I thought it was original and really creepy. It had some genuinely scary moments and some great performances by the female lead, Oldman and Alexander. The only complaint I had with the film is that it has some similar themes to Drag Me To Hell, which is a far superior film. It still does not take away from my enjoyment of the film, but I did leave a gnawing at the back of my head that this all seemed familiar.
The plot basics are this, Casey Beldon (Yustman) is being tormented by horrific dreams of a strange and ethereal child stalking her. She baby sits for some friends and is hit in the face by a mirror by their son (Shaffer), things begin to happen. Her eyes change color and she seems to be having the nightmares during the daytime too. It as if something is rising up to attack her. She goes to a doctor and finds out she had a stillborn twin that died when she was born and now the spirit of that unborn child is attacking her hoping to take her place. She goes to talk with her recently discovered grandmother (Alexander) and she tells Casey that what is stalking her is a ancient Jewish demon called the Dybbuk and it wants to usurp her life. Casey gets a ancient book written in Hebrew that has the right words to expel the demon and asks a Rabbi (Oldman) to perform the exorcism. He gets together various friends of his and they begin the proceedings and from then its is a battle between good and evil and to see which is the strongest to prevail.
This was a really well done movie, that was entertaining as hell. Goyer's direction was tight, very moody and claustrophobic with some very well staged and scary scenes. The script by Goyer was also very well done, the characters were fully realized, especially the character of Casey. She was by far the strongest and most important character in the story and you were always rooting for her. The actors were superb, Yustman did a great job, portraying the woman in peril who still has the inner strength to fight this thing attacking her from all sides. With a great supporting cast with the likes of Oldman, Remar and Alexander. The SFX was minimal but done very effectively. This was a film that really did work best as a PG-13 horror film. Anything harder and that would have been pushing it. It was more about the story than the effects. I really enjoyed this film a lot and will be revisiting it again.
This one gets 4 out of 5

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