This supernatural thriller about a malevolent spirit rarely capitalizes on its potential.
Attractive college co-ed Casey (Odette Yustman) finds herself the target of the diabolical Dybbuk, a spirit which has bided its time since her birth to make its nefarious presence known. Is it perhaps a manifestation of her twin brother, who died in the womb all those years ago? Since dear old Dad (James Remar) is away on business -- seemingly for the entire length of the movie -- concerned Casey seeks answers from Sofi Kozma (Jane Alexander), a survivor of the Holocaust who may hold the key to Casey's past. Needless to say, those to whom Casey confides her fears often find themselves in danger of being offed in gruesome fashion. (Misery may love company, but the Dybbuk doesn't.) In a last-ditch effort to rid herself of the evil spirit, Casey turns to Rabbi Sendak (Gary Oldman), who finally agrees to perform an exorcism after he, too, sees the signs.
Aside from acting terrified (and looking good doing it), Yustman (Cloverfield) is totally at the mercy of the story, which shows little mercy when it comes to providing any concrete (or even shaky) answers to the questions raised in the storyline. She's attractive and not unappealing, but there's not much else to the character. As Casey's respective boyfriend and best friend, Cam Gigandet (Twilight) and Meagan Good (Saw V) are merely functionaries, offering the typical mixture of skepticism and support before learning for themselves -- too late, of course! -- that maybe Casey's suspicions have validity. Adding a (misplaced?) touch of class to the proceedings are Oldman, who doesn't embarrass himself, and Jane Alexander, who isn't so fortunate. It's also a wonder why Carla Gugino, seen occasionally in flashback as Casey's deceased mother, even bothered. It's a nothing role, which might explain why the actress has no billing other than in the end credits.
There's no question that writer/director David S. Goyer has a deep love and appreciation for horror and science-fiction, given his previous credits, which include the scripts for Dark City, Blade and The Dark Knight, but as a director his work (which includes Blade: Trinity and last year's The Invisible) leaves much to be desired. There are some good ideas here, and some individual scenes are reasonably effective, but there's no sense of cohesion. The parts don't add up to a satisfactory whole. The Unborn suffers from a botched delivery.
Hollywood.com rated this film 2 1/2 stars.