Review by: Matt Brighton
Posted on: January 28th, 2012
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Plot: What’s it about?

I’m often asked by friends and family what “new and good” movies I received to review on this site. Well I got “The Unborn” which is new, but I’d hardly classify it as good. I’m not a huge fan of the horror movie genre, but it seems that every other movie somehow falls into this genre. And, by and large, they’re all pretty much the same. They all have same ominous music with a flash of some horrid creature or slightly deformed person or thing and they keep repeating the same thing throughout the movie. Now that’s not to say that the premise of “The Unborn” isn’t somewhat intriguing because with a few tweaks, this movie might have been pretty decent. As it stands though, it isn’t and I’m here to tell you why.

Casey Beldon (Odette Yustman), a college student who babysits on the side for some extra cash. While jogging, she finds a mysterious glove, and then she sees a strange child and then a dog wearing some sort of mask. Being young and alone, she follows it into the nearby forest where she encounters a fetus in a jar. Soon after this, she starts seeing this evil-looking kid pretty much everywhere and this movie even dares to use the coveted “see the reflection in the medicine cabinet mirror” gag. Casey starts trying to formulate what this thing is and why it’s following her so she turns to genealogy, naturally. She seeks out a strange old woman found in photos (Jane Alexander) who leads her to a rabbi (Gary Oldman) that may be able to perform an exorcism to get rid of the spirit.

I really won’t go into too much more detail than that and the more I think of this film, the more I’m mad at myself for wasting 90 minutes of my life on it. And, oh my goodness, Gary Oldman! One of my favorite actors and star of such mega-franchises as “Harry Potter” and “The Dark Knight”, did he lose a bet in a poker game to get this part? If you’re looking for a good movie about an exorcism, I can think of two: “The Exorcist” or “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”, both much better movies and your time is much better spent viewing one of them. I’m trying to think of some redeeming qualities this movie has, but right now I’m drawing a blank. Now I know how the screenwriter felt.

Video: How does it look?

As bad as this movie was, I have to say that the 2.35:1 VC-1 HD transfer was pretty darn impressive. This comes as no surprise though as it’s a fairly big budget movie coming from a big studio (Universal). The entire palette is very muted, giving very white-looking flesh tones that seem washed out. Other scenes are shown in flashback or are somewhat darker in nature, but I saw no evidence of aftifacting and black levels seemed on target as well. Contrast is nice and except for a few minor bumps here and there, this is a great-looking picture.

Audio: How does it sound?

The DTS HD Master Audio track is used and with great effect. Dialogue sounds great, with very strong vocals. The exorcism scene probably takes the cake as the one with the best sound and we really get a 360 degree sound stage here. Surrounds are used sparingly, but during this scene they make their presence known. The soundtrack is that of a typical horror film with ominous music leading up to a pivotal moment meant to scare us. Ok, it worked on me…once. This is a good soundtrack and up to par with what I was expecting.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The supplemental package here is subpar, but then again so is the movie. We get some deleted scenes and the disc is also BD-Live enabled.

The Unborn (Blu-ray)
David S. Goyer
87 min.

  • (2.35:1)
  • Video Codec: VC-1
  • Audio: DTS HD Master
  • 1 Disc Set
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scene(s)
  • Featurette
  • Documentary
  • Digital Copy