Director: David S Goyer (2009)
Starring: Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, Cam Gigandet, Idris Elba
Not since Demi Moore's derriere graced the VHS covers of I Spit on Your Grave has one girl's ass made such memorable marketing for a horror movie. Indeed, the film's repeated use of Yustman's arse almost rivals that of Twilight's abdomens in terms of harnessing the Sleaze Audience. I suppose it's a remarkably clever way to get people to watch your otherwise mediocre movie.
Ass aside, I think there might be a plot buried there somewhere. The Unborn isn't, but it feels like an American remake of something J-horror. It's use of the mundane (and The Unborn is very mundane) and grey cinematics is very reminiscent of The Grudge or that one with the drippy ceiling. Casey (Yustman) is plagued by visions of a ghostly child. Her unborn twin brother, as it happens. Little bastich ain't too happy with being dead, and wants to be born. In order to do this, he murders Casey's black best friend (and I thought this was supposed to be 21st Century filmmaking. Bad luck, black best friends; you're destined to remain knife-fodder for a while yet) and harrasses a house full of old people. Forgive me, I forget most of the plot mechanics. I was too busy focusing on Yustman's ass.
Upon discovering that the ghost brat is a figure of Jewish folklore, Casey hunts down Rabbi Sendak (Oldman) and asks that he exorcise Ghost Jew Boy for her. I have no idea what Gary Oldman is doing in such a movie, but he gives the whole thing a sense of (highly undeserved) gravitas, and makes it a mildly more watchable affair. Even during the scenes (both of them) in which Yustman's ass isn't facing the camera. What follows is a very silly but still midly watchable exorcism in which Casey is strapped down to a gurney and muzzled with a very BDSM-looking gag contraption. Also present is Casey's boyfriend (Gigandet) and a Priest (Idris Elba). As Gary Oldman screams into a wind machine, Casey struggles on the table and the Priest gets himself somehow killed. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, fake happy ending, pre-credits shock, THE END. The Unborn kinda resembles how Drag Me to Hell might have turned out if it'd been directed by a hack with an ass-fascination.
That said, The Unborn isn't as fully terrible as one might imagine it to be. It's even mildly watchable, amusing in an unintentional sort of way and vaguely arousing for those who appreciate tightie whities and the female form. The peformances are neither great nor horrible. Yustman is like a more tolerable version of Megan Fox, Gigandet will keep the ladyfolk in the audience semi-interested, and the combined forces of Oldman and Elba add the actorly factor - even if they're both just blatantly phoning it in. Meanwhile, Goyer's directional style keeps things snappy and watchable, although it does feel like a particularly assy music video at times. You keep expecting Jason Derulo or Justin Bieber to show up and slap Yusterman's butt whenever it's onscreen. And it's onscreen a lot. Go back and count how many times I've used the word 'ass' in this review. That's nothing compared to the amount of times it must have been used in the script. Which is pretty apt, I suppose. The Unborn after all, is a load of ass.