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Home | Film Review: The Unborn (2009)

Film Review: The Unborn (2009)


Tortured by frightening dreams at night and the ghost of a young boy during the day, young Casey (Odette Yustman) turns to a spiritual adviser named Rabbi Sendak (Gary Oldman) for help. Together, the two uncover and try to stop a powerful family curse dating back to the Nazi era. David S. Goyer writes and directs this supernatural thriller that also stars Cam Gigandet, Meagan Good and Jane Alexander.


Why is that all the scariest kids look like the kid from Omen? Enter the new scare flick of the month. This one is called “the Unborn” With a pg-13 rating it’s scary enough for adults and cool enough for the “Twilight” audiences. Our latest film is set up in a classic 3 act storyline. For those who need clarification that would be “discovery”, terror” and then resolve or the act of final conflict . Terror? Oh yes and plenty of it. Its films like this that make it enjoyable to still go our to the cinema. Director David S. Goyer knows the right formula to hit the audiences with and it works with flying colors.

The premise? Casey starts seeing weird visions of an eerie kind showing up in her dreams and though out the day. As they increase she becomes more concerned that something isn’t right and rightfully so. This eerie eyed ghost boy starts to haunt her and turn her world upside down. Add to that an eye discoloration going on things get pretty suspicious. Her attempts to figure thing out lead to seeing an eye doctor, an old woman she finds in her mothers past per way of a news clipping and a rabbi (Gary Oldman) who responds with great interest in the matter. Built on old Jewish folklore, its is determined that this ghost boy is in fact a “Dybbuk” an old jewish demon that originated for the family back in the nazi days when they performed experiments on the boy and let a demon through some gateway. I must admit I’ve never heard of or seen this particular demon used in a film, so I’m always up for something new, The wikipedia term is noted as such:

In Kabbalah and European Jewish folklore, a dybbuk is a malicious possessing spirit, believed to be the dislocated soul of a dead person.[1] Dybbuks are said to have escaped from Gehenna, a Hebrew term very loosely translated as “hell,” or to have been turned away from Gehenna for transgressions too serious for the soul to be allowed there, such as suicide. The word “dybbuk” is derived from the Hebrew דיבוק, meaning “attachment”; the dybbuk attaches itself to the body of a living person and inhabits it. According to belief, a soul that has not been able to fulfill its function in its lifetime is given another opportunity to do so in the form of a dybbuk. It will leave once it has accomplished its goal, sometimes after being helped.

Getting back to the film, as Casey gets closer to answers she is also haunted by the Dybbuk who overtakes her friends bodies long enough to be really creepy with a strong touch of metamorphism. Great special effects are used throughout that help seal this fact per courtesy of Asylum VFX. More digging uncovers that her mom who committed suicide had been haunted by this demon as well as her newly discovered grandmother. Yep, it’s a curse of demon haunting by this little nazi smuck and its due time for some ass kicking. Rabbi Sendak manages to come to aid per an old Jewish exorcism, that ends badly for the participants involved. In all your looking at a final confrontation and few more cool pissed off demon FX to seal the package.

Odette Yustman who plays the role of Casey Beldon gives a memorable performance with her acting credits up to now being mostly in television series shows. Maybe its the prop eye gags they used in this film but she was both memorizing and a hypnotic. I predict she’ll land many more such roles in the horror film business as a result of this one. Other familiar faces include James Remar and Carla Gugino who play Casey’s parents. Special mentions on this one go first to score music by Ramin Djawadi which I thought was outstanding. The score was subtle like listening to bombs in the distance going off combined with dynamic music interludes. Also just cause I dig that kind of stuff nice work on the end credits by Scarlett Letters. Again subtle but appropriate.

Final words on this I’m calling it “Creepy, edgy and a scarefest galore”. It’s funny because even with it just coming out, I’ve seen a few negative reviews, which says one thing….. reviewers, loosen up a bit, have fun with a film for once! I’m guessing these reviewers hate everything made in the 21st century and would be better off watching re-runs of Halloween for the 20th time. It’s a fun film with some effective use of misdirection. Great stuff, and appropriate for 13 year olds as well (which isn’t a bad thing) – PS – I’m glad I didnt believe the “other” reviews.

The Unborn (2009)

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