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Unborn, The


Stars: Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, Cam Gigandet, Meagan Good, Idris Elba, Jane Alexander, James Remar, Carla Gugino

Director: David S Goyer

This is the kind of horror film in which the heroine (played by tall, beautiful Yustman from Cloverfield) manages to escape the clutches of a demon, while everyone around her dies. Since the idea of the movie is saving a life, it would seem to kinda defeat the object. But, hey, that's horror for you.

Ever since Auschwitz (yes, Auschwitz), the Belden family has been pursued by a Dybbuk - an alien soul trying to be born into the human world. Granny (Alexander) is in a nursing home, Momma hanged herself, and Case (Yustman) starts having nightmares about boys with charcoal eyes and bulldogs with Halloween masks on. And she sees a deformed bee in one of her fried eggs (she throws the good one away too!).

Oh yes, and she keeps hearing the phrase 'Jumby wants to be born now'. Jumby, it turns out, was the nickname of her unborn twin. 'It has fallen on you,' grates Granny to Case, 'to finish what we started in Auschwitz.' No pressure there then.

Well, Granny tells Case to smash all the mirrors in the house and wear a charm to ward off evil spirits, neither of which seems to do much good. Eventually, people do start to die, and the only answer seems to be an exorcism which, as Case is Jewish, must be performed by a rabbi (Oldman).

Heads revolve, though not the heroine's, and the whole ridiculous farrago ends with a predictable twist in the tail. Oldman takes the money and incants, Yustman is breathtakingly lovely (it's hard to tell from this if she can act) and Gigandet, as her boyfriend, shows some promise as a Steve McQueen/Brad Pitt hybrid.

David Quinlan

USA 2008. UK Distributor: Universal. Technicolor.
87 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 24 Feb 2009