‘OMG da Holocauzt totally SUCKED!!! LOL letz uze it in r movie. P.S. Apple and Red Bull say that if we show their products on screen, then they’ll let us keep them for free.’ So read ace writer/director David S. Goyer’s text to his production staff on the eve of shooting his latest masterpiece ‘The Unborn’, a film which isn’t afraid to tackle all the big issues. Love? Check. Loss? Check. MP3 players? Check. Energy drinks? Check. Man’s greatest atrocity? Check.
Perhaps it’s unfair to bemoan the crass nature of what is, to all intents and purposes, a dire schlock horror film aimed largely at idiots. An important aspect of growing up, after all, is to accept the unrelenting force with which such products will always be churned out and, in turn, lapped up, or at least attended, by audiences. It’s rare, however, to come across a film which displays such disregard for decency as to be as genuinely offensive, contemptuous and insulting as The Unborn.
The picture revolves around Odette Yustman’s Casey Beldon, a regular girl, just like you and I: she’s into her college studies and loves to go out ‘clubbing’ with her boundary-respecting boyfriend and her sassy black best friend. That is until a malicious soul, disconnected from its body, begins to pay her visits, manifesting itself in the form of a young boy and demanding that “it wants to be born.”
The film’s promotional materials alone would have one believe that its creation was a positive exercise in instilling in popular culture an awareness of ancient Judaic mythology. Like a less anti-Semitic ‘Der Golem’ for the Noughties. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when I realised that the feature wasn’t quite the exercise in cultural relations I was anticipating, but it may well have been upon the sight of an octogenarian Holocaust survivor falling down a flight of stairs as the possessed, barking body of a stroke victim gave chase to her. Or upon hearing the line “It’s time to finish what started back in Auschwitz all those years ago.” Or perhaps it was the harrowing Auschwitz flashback scenes, presumably shot at some kind of cheerful Butlins resort. Or upon Gary Oldman’s initial appearance as the suspiciously gentile Rabbi Sendak, presumably unaware that Hebrew is read right-to-left. “If only there was some kind of free, on-line encyclopaedia from which basic information about various subjects could be attained,” I thought “then the film wouldn’t have been so inadvertently insensitive.”
Weeks ago, I went into a bank branch, at which the staff, all female, addressed each other as ‘hun’ and ‘chicky,’ forgot about my enquiry and were witnessed doing some kind of spank-ass-dance thing, presumably in reference to their impending weekend’s activities. I couldn’t help but think “do I really want all these deplorable wretches looking after my money?” The Unborn, on the other hand, has so far grossed over $33,000,000. Perhaps its creators and the bank staff could swap occupations. There’d still be a constant influx of terrible movies to ignore, but at least my finances would seem a little more secure.