The Unborn parents guide

The Unborn Parent Guide

Releasing in the first few days of 2009, the film might also be pronounced this year's "Ungreatest" - a title that may well persist long into the New Year.

Overall D

Casey Beldon (Odette Yustman) is being haunted by ghostly dreams. Her attempts to make sense of the phenomenon only uncovers bigger mysteries, so the non-practicing Jew turns to her Rabbi (Gary Oldman) with the hope that he will be able to exorcise her problem.

Release date January 9, 2009

Violence C-
Sexual Content C
Profanity C-
Substance Use B-

Why is The Unborn rated PG-13? The MPAA rated The Unborn PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and terror, disturbing images, thematic material and language including some sexual references.

Run Time: 86 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Casey (Odette Yustman) can bet things will go from bad to worse when, during her daily jog, she sees a scary little boy turn into an ugly dog wearing a mask. One might think the adolescent would run away screaming but—typical for a fearful female in a teen horror film—she instead follows the masquerading mutt deep into the dark woods. There she finds something even more disturbing—a fetus in a jar of formaldehyde. Okay, we better cut Casey some slack because it turns out she didn’t consciously follow the dog. It is all just a dream. Yet what can it mean? A quick iChat on her Apple MacBook with built in iSight (yes… the product placements are that obvious) quickly connects her to a reliable source (or not) of information—her superstitious friend Romy (Meagan Good).

Cut to the obligatory babysitting scene required of every movie in this genre. Hearing strange sounds coming from the nursery monitor, Casey creeps upstairs and discovers her charge looks exactly like the scary, evil child she saw on the pathway. The resulting fright factor gives the jittery girl another excuse to invite her beefy boyfriend (Cam Gigandet) to sleep over when her widowed father heads out of town. Unfortunately his protection doesn’t manage to keep things from getting worse (are we surprised?), and Casey continues to find opportunities to scream and prance around in her very tight underwear (an image the studio must have considered a big enough attraction to have it appear on the promotional poster).

Meanwhile, a plot the size of a postage stamp unfolds leading to a mysterious Jewish woman (Jane Alexander) who lives in what appears to be a woefully understaffed care facility. She informs Casey of a “dybbuk” (a cultural word used to describe a spirit taking possession of another person’s body) that occurred after a boy was sent to die at a Nazi extermination camp. Even though Casey is a non-practicing Jew, she is quickly convinced an exorcism is the only way to be rid of the ghoulish faces and eerie sounds that are haunting her. However, it is not quite as easy to persuade the skeptical Rabbi Sendak (Gary Oldman) that demons are truly among them.

Along with pathetic acting, a script riddled with clichés, and every “made you jump” trick learned in Filmmaking 101, this production wanders into areas uncomfortable on other levels too—like fabricating a ghost story out of the Holocaust. People are depicted as acting under the influence of evil spirits, which causes them to engage in aggressive physical confrontations involving stabbing, choking and disfiguring their bodies. As well, it contains infrequent profanities (including a single strong sexual expletive) and sexual innuendo, plus implied sexual relations between an unmarried couple.

The Unborn‘s only redeeming feature is that it is mercifully short (only 86 minutes). Releasing in the first few days of 2009, the film might also be pronounced this year’s Ungreatest —a title that may well persist long into the New Year.

Starring Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, Cam Gigandet. Running time: 86 minutes. Theatrical release January 9, 2009. Updated

The Unborn
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Unborn rated PG-13? The Unborn is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of violence and terror, disturbing images, thematic material and language including some sexual references.

This teen horror (all characters are depicted as college aged) relies on typical scary conventions to provide its young audience with a sense of fright (stormy nights, ghoulish faces, etc.). More serious content elements involve a plot exploring satanic possession from a Jewish perspective. Characters depicted as possessed by evil spirits distort and disfigure their bodies, and brutally attack others. A little boy is run over by a car. A person is stabbed, another falls from a balcony, and many more are involved in a séance that results in similar depictions and aggressive confrontations. Sexual content includes infrequent sexual innuendo, an unwed pregnancy and an unmarried couple sleeping together. A girl is seen in underwear on a couple of occasions. A single strong sexual expletive is heard along with other infrequent scatological and religious terms. Drinks are served in a bar (a main character orders a non-alcoholic beverage, however some of the other customers may be underage).

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More parents' guide for The Unborn after the break...

The Unborn Parents' Guide

Children are usually considered to be pure and innocent. How does this contrast with the depiction of the demon boy in this movie? How does the use of this kind of an evil figure make the character seem even more frightening?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of The Unborn movie is July 7, 2009. Here are some details…

Release Date: 7 July 2009

Unborn makes its arrival to the home video market on DVD and Blu-ray. Both formats deliver two copies of the movie: the theatrical version and the unrated cut.

Unborn on DVD is presented in widescreen, with audio tracks in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English, French and Spanish) and subtitles in English, SDH, French and Spanish. The disc also provides deleted scenes.

Unborn on Blu-ray Disc offers DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English) and DTS 5.1 Surround (French and Spanish). Subtitles are available in English, SDH, French and Spanish. Bonus materials include deleted scenes and BD Live features (Download Center and My Scenes Sharing).

Related home video titles:

Ghostly apparitions also haunt a young boy in The Sixth Sense and a family living on a remote island in The Others.