Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Unborn (1991)

I never understood movies that somehow should reflect real life horrors, a demonic baby to symbolise the fear of pregnancy, an serial killer dentist to makes us fear the dentist even more. When it comes to killer babies and related subjects there's a lot of movies to choose from, but I've always found it very silly to actually think that Rosemary's Baby or It's Alive could scare future parents. In the first case it's because Satan don't exists and it's hard to be afraid of a mythological character the second, a quite overrated movie, focuses to much on the baby as a pure monster. There's a monster baby in The Unborn also, but the main bulk of the movie is spent on the horror of having something unknown inside you... and it want to get out...

Virginia (Brooke Adams) and Brad (Jeff Hayenga) is a successful couple who the last five years has been trying to have a baby. Through a colleague of Brad they get a chance to try one last time at a specialist, the awfully nice Dr Richard Meyerling (James Karen). He enhances the sperms of Brad so the baby will be stronger and handle the complicated birth process. Pregnancy succeeds and the young couple is preparing for their new life. But soon Virginia starts to feel weird, she seem to be controlled by another force (which the poor cat experiences...) and a new friend of hers, also a pregnant woman with the same doctor, stabs herself repeatedly in the stomach with a big kitchen knife. Something is wrong and Virginia is the only one understanding that both her own and others lives are in danger!

Well, forget It's Alive! The Unborn is for me, from now on, the only killer baby movie worth the name. Not only does it deliver some truly macabre scenes of carnage, the atmosphere is genuinely creepy and the script tighter than Scottish catholic nun! First of all, Brooke Adams is a good competent actress - not to you either - that actually gives everything she's got to make this movie feel realistic, or at least very, very dramatic. There's no subtle acting when she's getting crazy and ripping her dear house away, or sitting in a chair screaming like a madman. She obviously understood the genre and respected it, something very few actors do I think, especially if they are at a low-point in their career and just trying to pay the rent.

Another fine performance comes from veteran James Karen, a bloke I've always felt have a problem with over-acting, but here does his way-to-fake-nice doctor perfectly balanced and with a cold, calculating under-the-skin psychopathic persona.

Staying away from sleaze and nudity, which would have dragged the fun script down actually, the story focuses more on some light gore (well-made, but not that graphic) and the descent into madness for poor Virginia, and here we have everything from a very violent fight between a lesbian couple (involving hammers), a down-and-dirty backstreet-abortion and of course the final monster baby (created by a simple but effective animatronic).

The Unborn is a violent, dark movie which is many notches above the usual DTV crapfests. Recommended!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A really creepy movie this one, and my favourite in this genre after the Brood. I think the first movie in the franshice of It´s Alive is pretty good aswell. The second is silly, and the third ridiculus, and the remake is one of the worst remakes ever made.