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7.20.2009

The Unborn

So the latest in the stream of demonic possession films represents another squandered opportunity.

The mythology of the dybbuk seems fascinating, but writer and director David S. Goyer doesn't spend much time (the film is barely over an hour and twenty minutes long) developing the intricacies of the subject.

For a far better discussion of the topic, try this blog (scroll down for two interesting posts)...

Goyer's film is both stylish and soulless--not much more than a string of ghoulish perspective shots and obvious gotcha scares.

That said, he's got one heck of an inversion on the classic Exorcist spider-walk scene here. That one puckered the hair on the back of my arms a bit (why there are so many stairs in an old folks' home is beyond me, but we'll let it slide).

Some character development would have been nice, but I'm not convinced Odette Yustman has the chops to take advantage of backstory at this stage in her career. The potential is there, but she needs more work (her IMDB page shows some interesting projects in production, including another horror film).

Gary Oldman cashes a check here, stopping by for a few minutes in the third act.

And the story itself? Well, it's another demonic child template. Why must Satan enter the world through the legs of a mortal woman? Seriously, if Beelzebub has a thing for kids (and we're reading "The Man in the Black Suit" this week in literature class, which doesn't exactly dispel that notion), then I'm going to have to see if I can get Keanu Reeves or someone to stop by the house and play a burnt-out clergyman intent on settling old scores with the devil to bless my girl's pac'n'play.

I think the main players here can and will do better. This just felt like they were mailing it in (C-), and that's too bad. Now begins the long wait for Drag Me To Hell to make it to DVD.

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