The Unborn

"Evil will do anything to live" is the tagline for the latest in a spate of recent horror releases, and it's quite possible that they've hit on something big here. There has been such a proliferation of god-awful horror films in the past few years, each more predictable and unimaginative than the last, that the only feasible explanation is that somewhere, somehow, there are evil forces at work ruining cinema for millions of horror fans across the world.

The "evil" referred to here is, predictably, nothing we haven't seen before. In fact, it's about a wandering spirit that decides it needs a host. But not just any host; it needs attractive young lady Casey Belden (Yustman), who has a habit of wandering around in her underwear. I'm not sure why it chose her, but as you might expect she's none too pleased about this and decides to speak to an old concentration camp survivor who once helped her mentally ill mother (not very successfully though, because her mother killed herself). This kindly old lady informs young Casey that she is being targeted by a Dibuk, a Jewish spirit that likes to find human hosts to live in. The next step? Find a Rabbi of course! This demon needs to be exorcised.

Aside from basically being a Jewish version of The Exorcist, The Unborn also cobbles together hackneyed horror moments from wherever it can get them. There's demon dogs, kids with knives and plenty of quiet moments interrupted by a screeching noise and a close-up of a dead baby or something equally unpleasant. This tired and uninteresting mainstay of lazy horror films is a clear indicator that the director has no faith in his material, and sure enough the lacklustre ending failed to provide any twists, quirks or clever ideas that justified the preceding 90 minutes of humdrum scare-fare.

As you may have guessed, my conclusion is that this is a film you should give a miss. If you're up for watching a horror and there's nothing else on, maybe give it a look - you might find I've been a little harsh. But personally I think the film industry owes us more for our money, and horror writers in particular need to raise their game from the endless reels of samey rubbish that does the rounds each year.

Official Site
The Unborn at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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