Saturday, December 31, 2011

REVIEW: The Unborn (2009)

The end of the year is nigh and I need to pick a really good movie to close us off for this review-season…something truly worthy and monumental enough to be the last review of 2011. It has to be a movie I truly hate with every fiber of my being, something that I would like nothing more than to crush into a billion pieces. Something generic and ridiculous to the max, with little redeeming value at all. Something that could have been released in a blank white DVD case with the word ‘Horror’ on it and lost nothing of its aesthetic worth at all.

Something like…The Unborn.

Director: David S. Goyer
Starring: Odette Annable, Gary Oldman

Why do movies about pregnancy or infants always seem to suck? It never fails. Grace. Nightmare on Elm Street 5. Nine Months. The list goes on – I mean, sure, you had Rosemary’s Baby once upon a time, but that was 40 years ago. These days we get festering loads of ass like this. The Unborn just reeks of phoned in, phony horror from people who wouldn’t know something scary if it came up and bit them. This movie is just horrible. And I can’t wait to get this over with, so let’s get started!

We open with Megan Fox Lite doing one of her morning jogs when she finds a glove on the ground; how exciting, right? Then she turns around and sees a dog with a weird mask on, which looks more like something out of a David Lynch movie – except a really lame David Lynch movie, as there’s really no poetry or mystique to this imagery. Megan Fox Lite follows the dog to a random spot in the woods where she finds a dead baby skeleton that opens its eyes and stares at her – well that’s just rude.

Wow, that looks like something you'd find on the underside of a table in some seedy bar. Sadly this will become a theme for the movie - awful, silly looking CGI fecal matter.

Of course it’s just a nightmare and she wakes up soon after. Then we get her talking to her friend Romy while babysitting, and because Romy is black, she knows all about dream interpretations, voodoo, the supernatural and everything else that will play prominently in the film’s flimsy plot. Because being black automatically equates to being African, which means knowing all about superstitions and magic spells and other stuff like that. How racially sensitive!

"I'm just your average black city girl who knows the whole dictionary of dream interpretations and magic spells. Call me?"

I’d like to note that this is the same chick from Venom who also had the random knowledge of the supernatural in that film too! Sad thing is, I actually think this movie is a step down compared to her last stint as a poorly written racial stereotype…in that movie, at least it made sense, being in the Louisiana swamps. This time it’s just ‘hey! We need a cheap way to shoehorn in bullshit explanations for the supernatural stuff in the movie; go hire a black actress!’

Anyway, Megan Fox Lite gets distracted when she has to go check on the kids, though, and finds the little boy she’s babysitting for holding a mirror shard over the face of his younger sister. He then smacks her across the face with it and says “Jumby is ready to be born,” because little kids are creepy and the filmmakers have zero other ideas.

So then we see that Megan Fox Lite is so excited to be at school that she gets hallucinations in the middle of class! God, how far are we into this again? 10 minutes? Holy crap, can’t you just slow down and tell a story? Is it that hard? We know NOTHING about this character except that she gets jump scared more than the protagonists of The Grudge, The Uninvited and The Ring combined! Not exactly a prideful accomplishment! Where’s the substance? Well, give Hollywood credit, though; they finally achieved their lifelong dream and cut out everything else in a horror movie beyond the retarded jump scares and hallucinations – it’s practically a producer’s wet dream, no effort at all except the most worthless, cheap, pandering garbage imaginable, but still guaranteed to scare legions of idiotic kids with no taste at all. Ka-ching!

We see that Megan Fox Lite goes to an eye doctor with her super-bland-milquetoast boyfriend and a half, and sees Dr. C.S. Lee of Dexter fame, who tells her that she’s been having weird dreams and seeing supernatural things because she needs an eye operation…well that’s stupid. It's even worse than the thing from Haunting of Molly Hartley where they tried to pass off every hallucination as a tumor in the main character's brain. But hey, at least we get to see some shots of her in her underwear later on when she’s at home! So it’s cool.

"Okay Miss Annable, look over here and give an ass shot to the camera to make sure people keep ignoring the ludicrous story and special effects...good! Man, I'm the best director EVER."

Hey, don’t you just love all those scenes in every modern horror movie ever where the heroine stands in front of one of those bathroom mirror cabinets and gets a jump scare? I don’t. But the movie does!

So it isn't in there the first time. Maybe they'll avoid the cliche and...
Nope! WTF is that thing anyway? It looks like that stretching-mouth guy from Legion! Hey, Legion was my first review this year and this is my last. I love tying everything together.

I'm sorry; I can't even find words to describe how bad this is! Hmm...

Yeah that sums it up.

So then Megan Fox Lite goes and sees her dad James Remar (seriously, what’s up with all the Dexter characters?), who tells her that she had a baby brother all along who died in the womb, who they called Jumby…because that’s a logical thing to nickname a baby before it’s born, right? What is that? A new Teletubbies character? Gumby’s half-retarded brother?

But anyway this now connects the dots, as it seems that the ghost of her unborn little brother is now haunting her. Well…that’s a pretty horrible and stupid plot – kind of like something you’d see on Are You Afraid of the Dark. Or rather, the outtakes of Are You Afraid of the Dark, not even good enough to make it onto that show. So I guess it fits with the theme of everything else in the movie being horrible and stupid just fine.

And now it’s time to spin the wheel of Horror ClichĂ©s again! We’ve already got ‘bland hot white girl with bland white boyfriend,’ and we ticked off the ‘jump scare involving a mirror cabinet in the bathroom’ twice even! We’re getting to the ‘dialogue that is really nothing more that cheap exposition’ quotient…so what’s left? How about ‘trite and played-out subplot involving the main character’s mother who is no longer around, but has something to do vaguely with the main plot’? Yeah that oughta do it.

Megan Fox Lite looks through some old crap in the attic and finds some pictures that somehow lead her to this old peoples’ home where she talks to an old lady who refuses to tell them anything at all – until about 10 minutes later into the film; spoilers! Until then, we can contend ourselves with stupid shit happening in the bathroom of a nightclub. Spooky!

Yeah that looks like most bathrooms in any big city.

Ugh, this is so horrendous; how much longer is it again? Like an hour? GOD THIS IS TORTURE.

So yeah, the old lady calls her at 2 in the morning or so and asks her to come back to the old peoples’ home to talk to her, and we find out that the old lady is actually her grandmother, who surprisingly never tried to contact her before now, I suppose. Stupid, but hey, it’s The Unborn. We then get a long, boring flashback that tells us this whole thing actually started back in the concentration camps of World War II, when her baby brother died in scientific occult experiments done by Nazi scientists. Because we really needed Nazis in this movie, right? Just give up, movie; you’re way beyond any ability to make us give a crap now.

Apparently a demon possessed his body and the old lady had to kill her brother in order to get rid of the demon. Only that backfired when the demon then decided to haunt the entire bloodline! That’s kind of like putting a band-aid on a small cut right before you realize you were supposed to keep your eyes on the road, and end up driving right off a goddamn cliff.

Being that she’s already spewed out all the worthless exposition the film needed her for, the old lady gets killed off in the middle of the night by a horrible CGI effect, but not before leaving a letter to Megan Fox Lite telling her to never give up and keep fighting and all sorts of other stuff that makes Megan Fox Lite’s eyes well up for some super-cinematic tears with melodramatic music in the background!

"That's right, Miss Annable, just cry your best cliche, over the top movie tears and we'll have the best scene ever. Man, my own directing makes me hot down below!"

And also, what the hell is the logic in this? How would she know to write this letter when she didn’t know she was going to die later? At least try to make sense, you damn movie!

So then she goes to see a guy that looks like Gary Oldman. We already have the Megan Fox look-alike, and now we have the…wait, what do you mean that IS Gary Oldman? He would never do a movie this ba---

Well, okay, one time, but…

Uh, well, maybe twice, but still…

OKAY! OKAY! This is really nothing new for him! Happy? He just has a knack for picking shit films once in a while and this is unfortunately another one he probably won’t want to put on his resume. He’s playing an interminably dull and boring priest who Megan Fox Lite hires to do an exorcism on her. They team up with the only basketball playing expert on exorcisms ever – it’s good to have multiple talents! – and sit around and talk about boring stuff some more.

"OOOOoooooh, look at my abstract weird imagery, aren't I the best and most edgy director ever? David Lynch eat your heart out! I got a dog with an upside down head! Sure it looks like a horrible Photoshop, but it's just so edgy, man!"

I’m all for scenes that establish the story through interesting character nuance, but…that isn’t what this is. This is crappy cheap-ass exposition written by people who have no earthly idea about how to write a story. Literally every bit of dialogue in this damn movie is exposition trying to make the dumbass plot more coherent! Where’s the character connection? I guess they just forgot to write that in! Most of these scenes are just window dressing – just backgrounds and people doing arbitrary things in front of them while they rattle off their hideously asinine exposition. Oh, please, explain the story to us some more, writers! Haven’t gotten enough of that yet! That’s truly the way to invest us!

Oh yeah, and the black chick dies when she gets stabbed by the little boy from across the street. I know, just go with it. Apparently the demon can possess people now! And I guess nobody noticed the little kid leaving his house with one of mommy’s kitchen knives…methinks better parental supervision would be a good idea, perhaps. Not to mention the silliness factor is only multiplied when the demon jumps out of the kid and into the dying girl – why he did that I do not know, as clearly she’s dying and will soon be of no use to him – and puts on his best Exorcist impression. By which I actually mean worst, and cheesiest, Exorcist impression. Sounds more like a castrated frog.

"Don't you ever try to imitate me! I will END YOU!"

The “climax” of the film is a big sloppy mess that pretty much has ‘try-hard’ written all over it. They didn’t have any actual atmosphere or scares, so they put in a nearly unwatchable miasma of people screaming, demonic faces, flashy lights and other stuff that makes the movie look like a little kid screaming for attention because his mom and dad wouldn’t buy him a damn Optimus Prime action figure. Seriously, this is wretched. You have to TRY to be this bad!

"Let it be known...that I...achieved my be...the blandest horror boyfriend...ever..."

Oh, the boyfriend died? What a Shakespearian tragedy! Seriously, they try to make this whole thing so tragic and whatnot, but really he was a complete cardboard cut-out of a character the whole movie, with no human traits and nothing to distinguish him from the nearest lamppost. So really I feel about as much emotion here as I did the last time I threw out a pair of socks.

The movie ends with Megan Fox Lite finding out she’s pregnant with twins!

Hey, the best actors in the movie have finally arrived!

Uh oh! Irony! That’s a good movie ending, right right? No.

I have spent way too much time already on this, but my god! What kind of festering brain tumor could possibly come up with this? It’s unbearable torture to watch; one of the worst I’ve ever reviewed on this site. There’s just nothing in it that I can describe as any kind of quality. It’s long, it’s stupid, it’s silly and most of all, IT’S BORING. The Unborn is just about everything wrong with 2000s horror wrapped up into one odorous package. I hate this movie and I hate anyone who likes it! Just scrap this crap; throw it in the garbage forever.

As for me, I’m going to go wash this down with some good old New Years celebrations. Happy 2012, folks. See you then!

All images copyright of their original owners. I do not own any of them.