The Unborn 2001 Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
Borrowing liberally from Rosemary’s Baby (and mimicking some of the strategies of Child’s Play), The Unborn still retains its own unique sense of horror, steeped in paranoia and genetic conspiracies. While many of its scare tactics end up producing the opposite effect after an intriguing build, the film manages a consistent atmosphere of dread throughout, and most of its jarring visuals succeed in their horror film intentions. Plus, don’t miss early roles from Lisa Kudrow as a receptionist and Kathy Griffin as a Lamaze instructor.
After years of unsuccessful attempts at getting pregnant, Virginia Marshall (Brooke Adams) and her husband Brad (Jeff Hayenga) turn to the highly reputable Dr. Meyerling (James Karen). With the revolutionary new techniques developed by the skillful doctor, Virginia finally becomes pregnant, but she quickly finds her dream becoming a nightmare as she succumbs to delusions, paranoia, and the realization that there is something unnatural about her baby…
Apparently, just like in Rosemary’s Baby, a mother’s love knows no boundaries - even when the child is a bloodthirsty homicidal mutant superbaby. The comparisons don’t stop with Virginia’s change of heart toward her killer kid, however, as loving husband Brad is involved with the creepy Human Genome Project advocate Dr. Meyerling - exactly like John Cassavetes’ Guy, who participated in a devilish cult. Aside from very obvious, similar themes, even the subplots - such as a fellow patient who catches on to the doctor’s genetic experimentations and winds up comatose before she can talk it over with Virginia - mirrors Polanski’s superior film.
The eeriness of an alien creature growing inside of the unsuspecting heroin is occasionally genuine, and further amplified by her frequent isolation, nightmares and familial estrangement. Her history of depression, breakdowns, a revolting rash, and disquieting music (periodically replaced with jazzier, badly out-of-place rock beats) also aid in the film’s horror, but unfortunately too much of it is unintentionally hilarious. A particularly grizzly moment in which one of Meyerling’s victims stabs her own pregnant belly with a butcher knife, along with several other choice bits of foreshadowing, is all out the window once the glistening plastic baby is finally revealed. The terror of the setup and the creepiness of the characters succumb to chuckles. It’s hard not to laugh at such a pathetic prop.
Famous schlock movie producer Roger Corman said that he intended for The Unborn to be “Rosemary’s Baby meets Cronenberg’s The Fly.” He was also playing off of the success of Child’s Play and It’s Alive - sadly all of the films used for inspiration were infinitely more affecting, although The Unborn did spawn a very obscure sequel.
- The Massie Twins