‘Evil will do anything to live’
The Unborn is a 2009 American supernatural horror film written and directed by David S. Goyer (director of The Invisible; Blade: Trinity; screenwriter of Hellraiser 2022; Terminator: Dark Fate; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). Produced by Michael Bay and Platinum Dunes.
The movie stars Odette Yustman as a young woman who is tormented by a ghost (a dybbuk) and seeks help from a rabbi (Gary Oldman).
Casey Beldon has nightmarish hallucinations of strange-looking dogs in the neighbourhood and an evil child with bright blue eyes following her around. While babysitting Matty, her neighbour’s son, she finds him showing his infant sibling its reflection in a mirror. Matty attacks Casey, smashing the mirror on her head, and tells her: “Jumby wants to be born now”. She puts him to bed and leaves in shock.
Casey’s friend Romee tells her of a superstition that newborns should not see their reflections in the mirror for at least a year because otherwise, they will die soon. Casey’s eyes begin to change colour; a doctor asks if she is a twin, and explains the change as tetragametic chimerism and heterochromia, and that is completely normal. Her neighbour’s infant dies, supporting the superstition.
Casey’s father admits that she had a twin brother years ago who died while he was in the womb when her umbilical cord strangled him, and whom he and Casey’s mother had nicknamed “Jumby”. She begins to suspect that the spirit is haunting her and that is the soul of her dead twin wanting to be born so it can enter the world of the living as evil.
“Oldman’s role is minimal to the point it appears he did it as a favor for his Batman cohort and Elba’s role is minuscule even compared to that as he shows up only in the final minutes. While Yustman parades around in her late-night panties, sure to give the guys a rise, the character the ladies in the audience are meant to connect to comes via Meagan Good as a foul-mouthed, tell-it-like-it-is, occasional dabbler in the supernatural best friend…” Rope of Silicon
“It feels like the movie just cannot wait to get to its next scary scene and anything in between is merely filler, and whilst yes, some of the scenes actually are bloody terrifying, without the glue to hold it together, most of the punch is lost.” The Horror Hothouse
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“It’s not a remake of an Asian horror film but it feels like one. That’s not just because it’s incoherent and borderline-unwatchable – characteristics common with those remakes – but it has the same gothic style-over-substance approach favored by them. And the plot distills to the same basic ingredients: a nasty ghost or demon is messing with our poor heroine in sinister but PG-13 ways.” Reel Views
The Unborn was released theatrically in the United States on January 9, 2009, by Rogue Pictures.