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The Unborn Review

Movies.com Critics

2.0

Dave White Profile

Fetuses are bad news. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0
    30

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 25

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Maybe approaching The Unborn as horror is the wrong approach. Perhaps this should be seen as a comedy. It is quite possibly the most egregiously laughable high-profile supernatural tale since Roman Polanski and Johnny Depp impaled themselves on "The Ninth Gate."

    Read Full Review

  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    What finally undoes the struggle to maintain suspense is Goyer's dialogue, which is consistently hokey.

    Read Full Review

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    A laughably bad horror flick.

    Read Full Review

  • 38

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    This material is offensive. The film may end with a straight-faced reassurance that "no actual Torah scrolls were destroyed or damaged in the making of this motion picture," but it's perfectly willing to exploit the Holocaust for cheap, weak thrills.

    Read Full Review

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    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!"

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Unborn reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Possession tale is low on blood, but high on scares.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a review of the PG-13-rated movie and not the unrated DVD version. This horror film, while relatively bloodless, is still totally frightening (as in NOT for younger kids). It's full of freaky, scary stuff like monsters, creatures, and demons. Since the evil entity in the movie can jump from body to body, much of the violence in the film involves un-possessed people lashingout at possessed victims -- including children. There's also lots of talk about abstract, monster-related theological issues (i.e. can a Jewish rite of exorcism protect a non-believer?). A subplot about a Holocaust survivor leads to imagery of Nazi death camps and medical experiments. Because the film's plot revolves around a stillborn twin, there's also disturbing imagery involving pregnancy, birth, and infancy that's used to create shock and horror. Characters also drink, swear, and get intimate (though nothing too sensitive is shown).

  • Families can talk about the way the film creates shock, tension, and horror with a relative minimum of blood. Is the movie's level of violence and unsettling imagery more or less scary because of its restraint?
  • Why are audiences drawn to horror movies?
  • Families can also discuss therole that traditional folklore of possession, demonic spirits, andghosts plays in the movie. Why do these stories appear so frequently inmost cultures?
  • What role do they have intheology and tradition?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Extensive discussion of mystical and demonic elements of Christianity and Judaism. Several scenes are set in a home for the elderly, with discussion of the frailties that can come with age. Discussions of the Holocaust. Extensive imagery involving birth and pregnancy and its complications, including a fetus in a jar (which is later shattered). Discussions of Alzheimer's (referred to as "old-timers"), clinical depression, and genetic abnormalities.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Several scenes involve violence against -- or by -- children possessed by supernatural entities or supernatural entities in the form of children. Stabbings, bludgeonings, beatings, and other forms of violence. Some blood, though less than in many other horror films -- but there are many mutilated bodies, and some graphic images of contorted/dislocated limbs. Constant horror-film imagery, including swarms of insects, misshapen supernaturally influenced beings, howlingmonstrosities whose entire face is a fanged maw, and more. A child is hit by a car (though unharmed thanks to dark forces); later, the same child stabs a character to death. A plot point revolves around the death of an infant. The finale involves lots of supernatural violence -- people and objects being hurled about by psychic force -- and some violence committed by people possessed by that force. Characters are chased and threatened by scary monsters. Some World War II concentration camp imagery, including medical experiments on children; other medical imagery includes an eye examination.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A couple (young, but college-aged) kisses and cuddles, presumably after making love. Discussion of "wood" as a indicator of arousal. Some images of the female lead character in nightshirt and panties and a waist-up, from-the-back shot of her showering. A babysitter is asked if the husband and wife she's working for have "porn," with a brief discussion of hypothetical masturbation. Sexual activity is shown to have clear consequences.

  • language false3

    Language: Some instances of strong language, including one "f--k," "s--t," and "bitch." "Retard" is used as an insult.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Some brands are visible on-screen or mentioned in dialogue, including Cosmopolitan magazine, Red Bull energy drink, and Xanax.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters drink liquor at a club and talk about being drunk; one character notes of the other's stressed-out state that "I would just take one of my mom's Xanax and call it a day." A character is seen leading some sort of 12-step group, although for what, exactly, viewers are never told.

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