Rental Reviewer: 'The Unborn'

Each week, at-home critic Denise Purvis dons the guise of the Rental Reviewer and explores the best (and worst) of paranormal pop culture movies.

Released January 2009, this was produced by Michael Bay, and written and directed by David S. Goyer (story creator of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, director of Blade: Trinity). The film picked up only a 12 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was a commercial disappointment.

The plot: Wow, this one is a stretch, but all the strangeness begins when Casey (Odette Yustman) - who can be found in underwear for at least 30% of this film - has nightmares about a creepy boy and a demon dog. After she gets hit near the eye with a mirror by a kid she's babysitting, her eyes begin to change color and her visions become real. (OK, don’t roll your eyes! I didn’t come up with this plot.)

Anyhow, this is when Casey finds out that she had a twin brother who died in the womb. Through an illogical, incredibly forced turn-of-events, Casey meets an older woman who turns out to be her grandmother that tells her the twin is not a human at all, but a dybbuk – a dislocated, evil spirit from Jewish folklore - who has been inhabiting twins in her blood line. As the spirit attempts to be reborn in the physical realm, it’s making life hell for Casey and her pals until the hero is able to secure an exorcism.

The scene: Instead of a scene, the only redeeming quality about this flimsy, awful movie was Rabbi Sendak played by the fabulous Gary Oldman. He is a third-act character, and his face time is minimal, but it was enough to keep me from falling asleep. Another cool part that fascinated me was the possessed, stroke-ridden elderly man who flipped his head 180 degrees and started crawling around in a spider walk.

The take: Despite some good visuals, the movie is a thin offering trying to be original but failing miserably. Even at a lean 88 minutes, it takes a lifetime to watch sequence after sequence of bad acting and hackneyed dialogue. I love scary movies, but The Unborn is neither scary nor interesting. This one is bad, and it kind of made me wish I was unborn so I didn’t have to watch it.