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Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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5.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 71 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Casey Bell hated her mother for leaving her as a child. But when inexplicable things start to happen, Casey begins to understand why she left. Plagued by merciless dreams and a tortured ghost that haunts her waking hours, she must turn to the only spiritual advisor, Sendak, who can make itCasey Bell hated her mother for leaving her as a child. But when inexplicable things start to happen, Casey begins to understand why she left. Plagued by merciless dreams and a tortured ghost that haunts her waking hours, she must turn to the only spiritual advisor, Sendak, who can make it stop. With Sendak's help, Casey uncovers the source of a family curse dating back to Nazi Germany—a creature with the ability to inhabit anyone or anything that is getting stronger with each possession. With the curse unleashed, her only chance at survival is to shut a doorway from beyond our world that has been pried open by someone who was never born. (Universal Pictures)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 16
  2. Negative: 10 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Clark Collis
    67
    Indeed, Goyer has penned many scripts superior to this one (he co-wrote cult gem Dark City), but he does make sure you're never far away from a big "Boo!"
  2. Reviewed by: Jason Buchanan
    63
    What more could a horror fan ask for than a spook-fest that feels pure in its intentions while taking full advantage of every opportunity to scare us silly?
  3. What "The Exorcist" might look like if Madonna rewrote it, this silly fright flick finds college student Casey (Odette Yustman) haunted by a Kabbalistic demon.
  4. The film teeters so perilously and routinely at the edge of camp, both with some of its casting choices and some unfortunate dialogue (the repeated warning that "Jumby wants to be born now"), that it's hard to know if Mr. Goyer wants to make us howl with fear or laughter.
  5. What finally undoes the struggle to maintain suspense is Goyer's dialogue, which is consistently hokey.
  6. 25
    What darkness the movie achieves comes solely from the lighting.
  7. 12
    The Unborn joins a growing glut of Holocaust- and Nazi-themed material -- "Valkyrie," "Defiance" - that are long on posturing, suppositions, and righteousness, yet short on moral complexity. Nazism and its crimes have lately inspired theme parks more than actual movies. Too many rides on that roller coaster and I feel sick.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 10
  2. Negative: 6 out of 10
  1. WojciechM
    Apr 4, 2009
    9
    I'm really astound by the negative reception of this movie. I found it one of the most solid and meaningful horror pictures of the I'm really astound by the negative reception of this movie. I found it one of the most solid and meaningful horror pictures of the decade. Yes, you've heard me - meaningful. It's one of the few movies that shows the actual folklore vision of the world. Not the standard western, judeo-christian civilization, XX/XXI century view, but the actual beliefs of our ancestors, who had their good reasons to be afraid of the darkness. "Dybuk" is a important part of lore and almost nothing in the movie contradicts that lore. There were things behind the veil of reality that people believed, that made Nazis pale in comparison. They were murderers, soulless sadists and monsters, yes, but yet - they were mundane. The one thing that bugged me about "The Unborn" was the exorcism scene. It felt like someone imposed on the director to make an action scene... Apart from that, there's not a single thing about the whole movie that would contradict the folklore or the beliefs of the spiritualists. It's so strange, that movies based on a bit more exotic folklore - like Japanese for instance - are far more acclaimed than the movie based on Jewish lore. Expand
  2. EmT
    Jan 13, 2009
    8
    LOVED IT!! Scared me senseless and that is exactly what it is meant to do. If you love a good horror and something to jump into the LOVED IT!! Scared me senseless and that is exactly what it is meant to do. If you love a good horror and something to jump into the person's lap next to you in the theater, this is perfect! Collapse
  3. Nov 15, 2011
    6
    THE UNBORN is a violent, entertaining and fun horror flick that keeps you watching through-out it's fast-paced storyline.
  4. JordanR.
    Jan 9, 2009
    2
    With an unbelievable (yes, granted, it is a horror film) and painfully redundant plot, and a main actress that was clearly cast through the With an unbelievable (yes, granted, it is a horror film) and painfully redundant plot, and a main actress that was clearly cast through the audition of a nude shower scene and the will to parade around in underwear, the Unborn misses the desired irony of an audience scrambling to leave out of thrilling fear and instead herds them out with profound boredom and predictability. It's saving grace, or perhaps that which will save it from deeper layers of movie hell are the various horrific creatures which do thrill, however any remotely redeeming part is already revealed in the exceptional trailer. Expand
  5. Laurens
    Feb 14, 2009
    1
    DId you know that most of the time, the titles alone either make the movie appear to be "Good" or "Horrible." Well, the Unborn, no surpise, DId you know that most of the time, the titles alone either make the movie appear to be "Good" or "Horrible." Well, the Unborn, no surpise, is not the biggest bomb of all time, but i think a Razzie should be in favor of this poorly recieved, awful downright stupid movie. Wny? Well, i don't know, horror movies, some of them today, are so meaningless it seems, {i love Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd} and this is like a sequel to the Exorcist. Only, this time, it wasn't scary in the effects, and people just got bored watching it. For one thing, having a dead "baby" brother haunt you, is so unrealistic, and if it's horror, isn't it suppose to scare us? It's more likely to scare us to NOT see these low budget sleepers, with that said, don't waste your time. Expand
  6. ChadS
    Jan 10, 2009
    1
    The title is misleading. "The Unborn" plays like a Mel Brooks parody of William Friedkin's "The Exorcist". It's not some revenge The title is misleading. "The Unborn" plays like a Mel Brooks parody of William Friedkin's "The Exorcist". It's not some revenge film about a fetus with an axe to grind as the title suggests. So be prepared. Akin to Bryan Singer's "The X-Men", the filmmaker uses Auschwitz as the setting for an inappropriate, and downright bizarre foray into science fiction. So be prepared for the portrayal of Josef Mengele's experiments on children, while a concentration camp survivor tells the origin story of Casey's demon. Talk about your dialectical quagmires, in the same film where the heroine is haunted, but finds the time to look hot in her underwear while being haunted, there are dead Jewish children on slabs in the morgue. A Dybbuk reanimates the holocaust survivor's twin brother, as if this gathering of twins slated for death didn't already have enough on their plates: dye in the eyes, vivisection, castration, and now, a murderous Hebrew spirit named Jambi. "The Unborn" is offensive in this respect: for Casey's grandmother Sofi(Jane Alexander), the surviving twin, her testimony about the war discloses an entity native to her heritage as haunting her more than the Germans. The Auschwitz experience becomes somewhat trivialized, made idiosyncratic by this alternate history. Juxtaposed against the paranormal, Mengele, and the Nazis, are almost beside the point. Casey(Odette Yustman), by all appearances, is a gentile at the outset of "The Unborn", but during the course of the film, she gets in touch with her past, while the past literally touches her. She's touched by a dybbuk. Expand
  7. RyanP
    Jan 10, 2009
    0
    I didn't care about the brunette or the token black character. I don't even remember if I caught their names. The dialogue set the I didn't care about the brunette or the token black character. I don't even remember if I caught their names. The dialogue set the movie up for 15 year old boys. The brunettes father was in the first part of the movie and then mysteriously disappeared. The movie has some Yiddish folklore and customs that were handled horribly. A Yiddish woman recited the modei ani in english for some reason. A rabbi is not wearing his kippah in synagogue. There was a Hebrew/Arabic/elvish? book, though the book was designed to read left to right, even though semetic languages are read right to left. Why Gary Oldman!?! Why?! you are Commissioner Gordon! Bad movie. Epic Fail! Expand

See all 10 User Reviews

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