For any mother who has ever fretted over whether she’s given birth to a devilish offspring, The Unborn should not be on your to-do list any time soon. On the other hand, the inexplicable PG-13 rating for this unruly kid occult outing, may be just the thing to give your children all sorts of exasperating ideas. Riddled with homicidal tots, interdenominational exorcists and something a whole lot more malevolent than the Nazis over at Auschwitz long ago, The Unborn, when not accidentally funny, scrapes the bottom of the barrel for new concepts in movie horror.
Written and directed David Goyer (Blade: Trinity, The Invisible, Batman Begins), The Unborn stars Odette Yustman as Casey, a Chicago coed who suspects something is just too weird for words when both boy and canine ghosts start joining her while out jogging. She eventually tracks down her hunches to an institutionalized mom who committed suicide, a twin brother she never knew about who died in the womb, and assorted other twins dating back to the Holocaust who may or may not hold the key to multiple birth demonic possession.
At wit’s end, not to mention utterly frazzled, Casey seeks help from Rabbi Sendak (Gary Oldman doing a bad imitation of a rabbi), a Kabbala guru who happens to know a thing or two about exorcism. After enlisting the co-exorcist aid of a basketball coach cleric, the determined duo tie Casey to a gurney in an abandoned building, and get down to business. After much prolonged mayhem and spirit fleeing, it turns out that just a good swat with a crowbar will do the trick nicely.
The Unborn is a mostly outlandish tale of really possessive, attention deficit disorder dybuks who can’t make up their mystical minds about which body is cool enough to inhabit. And concocted by inane idea gurus who think that genocide and motherhood make for really effective spooky narrative devices to exploit, but bad taste would be a better description. And though some of the images are on the terrifying side, like those supernatural creatures with their heads screwed on backwards, the same might be said of that what was he thinking filmmaker.