FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Feb 15, 2010

A Letter

Dear The Unborn,

Since the day you made the rounds at press screenings, I'd been warned about you. "The Unborn is no good, Stacie," my friends said. "Stay far, far away." It always bums me out to hear this about a horror film- I mean, I want all of you to be the love of my life- but I had to listen. When you were in theaters, I stayed far, far away.

Don't take that too personally, though. I tend to stay away from theaters because 1) umm, expensive and 2) umm, to go to the theater I have to leave the house and that directly conflicts with my career goals as a shut-in.

I figured you and I would eventually cross paths someday. Maybe after I'd been drinking and my resistance was low- you know, at a Halloween party or something when I'd had too many gin & tonics and deviled eggs and it was late and you were there and I said "Eh, the hell with it- it's Halloween." But time went on and that never happened, and...I'm sorry to say this, but when I encountered you in stores, there was always something else to rent and you were always too expensive to buy on a whim, and then there were those warnings from my friends. I'd pick up your DVD case and think, "Well, maybe..." and I'd hear a voice echo in my head- like when Luke was about to blow up the Death Star and Obi-Wan Kenobi chimed in to remind him about that whole Force thing- saying "'s terribbblllllle..." and I'd have to put you back on the shelf.

Okay, I'm being nice here to spare your feelings. The truth is...for fuck's sake, The Unborn, you're a Platinum Dunes movie. No, you're not a remake out to poop all over a classic, but still- you were brought into the world by horror's Unholy Trinity of Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form. I try not to judge someone by the company they keep, but I do have limits.

Last night, however, circumstances led to our being in the same room at the same time...and I'd had some wine. My inhibitions were lowered, The Unborn, and you took advantage! I gave you the benefit of the doubt despite having oh so many reasons to ignore you...and you swept into the DVD player like you owned the place. When I said, "How bad can it be?" you should have, like, snapped yourself in half or something to stop me from giving you a try. When I said "Gary Oldman is in it!", you should have shot down my hopes with "Yeah, but he's wasted in a stupid cameo." But you didn't, The didn't.

Now here I am, a day later, wondering what the eff I was thinking. I'm full of sorrow and regret, and I'm ashamed to tell my friends what happened. Sure, they'll be supportive, but I know they'll be thinking "I told you so..."- and I know they're right. If Luke didn't listen to Obi-Wan, that fucking Death Star would still be sitting out there, waiting to zap planets into dust like nobody's business. Have I learned nothing from Star Wars??

I don't know why I'm being nice about this, The Unborn. You really don't deserve a polite, gentle scolding...or a well-thought out critique.

Quite frankly, you suck. You're lethargic. You're lazy storytelling...yet somehow, you're also no storytelling. You don't make any fucking sense. My new daily struggle is trying to overcome picking apart your plot holes, lest said picking apart completely consumes my life. You are nothing but the cheapest of cheap jump scares. Scenes full of jump scares. A movie of jump scares. You're derivative of 50 better horror movies I'd rather watch.

To get all Nancy Thompson about it, you're nothing. You're shit.

I never want to see you again.


Final Girl


Melanie's Randomness said...

Woa you were nice about this film. It had such a great premise but I didn't know a movie could fall so flat on its butt. It was sooo bad. Gary Oldman should be ashamed. I was one of those people too who was like Gary Oldman is in it!! It's gotta be good. Nope. Yeahh it'll be on the 3.99 movie shelf before ya know.

Stacie Ponder said...

I think I'm just trying to forget about it already. Like, I'll get to the point where the experience seems like a 90-minute bad dream.


deadlydolls said...

I'm so sad to hear you were date raped by The Unborn. Please understand that we would never judge you for falling under the seductive charms of the 2nd string quarterback in his fancy letter jacket, only to wake up in pain and shame. Hell, I tried out the It's Alive remake and have fully embraced the fact that it was the movie's fault, not my own.

Fabulous review of a film I hope to never see.

Stacie Ponder said...

I'm taking back the power!

But dammit, I fully intend to try out the It's Alive remake one of these days. It's one of those movies that I can't help but think I'll find something special in you...

I really need to stop thinking that way.


deadlydolls said...

As much as I completely understand your rationalizing, I have to say It's Alive was painful, mostly because it was so ridiculously dull and nonsensical. There are things to laugh about--how the CGI baby constantly changes sizes, the very idea of Bijou Philips playing a grad student--but it just feels like a complete mess nobody gave two dead babies about.

My review:

Possibly the only time I genuinely enjoyed tearing a film apart.

But hey, it's your 90 minutes and personally, I still fully intend to give Legion my two hours one of these days. We just can't help ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Stacie, I salute you for warning the rest of us and the awesome letter. Sadly, for me the Unborn will be an ongoing problem. Oh, I know damn well by now it's a terrible movie but something in me still insists I have to see it. I don't know what. I'm not usually a person who wants to cause themself harm. (I think it's how they used dybbuks that got me intrigued originally.)
Do you think it would be better watched with a group of friends to mock it with?

GypsyBlue said...

I paid to see this movie.

I still want my money back but we stayed the whole movie. My Sis is LOVES this kind of movie and she always seems to pick the worst piece of crap you have ever seen.

This movie HURT. HURT HURT HURT. All I could think about when we left was: "does a girl that skinny need to wear underwear so thin YOU SEE HER BITS? ALL OF HER BITS!!!

Fuck this movie LOL

Stacie Ponder said...

This is certainly not a movie to watch alone. That would be an excruciating experience, I'd imagine.

The more I think about this movie, the more I loathe it. Therefore, I will now think about kittens.

Aw, fluffy!

Prospero said...

I also think you were too soft on this movie. I can't wait to see the Rifftrax version, though. That might actually be worth watching.

Jason Adams said...

The It's Alive remake does have a baby punch it's way through a grown woman's head. It's the shittiest of shitty CG but still. My life's a sliver richer for having seen it.

The Unborn on the other hand, tore away a full year of my life like that machine in The Princess Bride.

Anonymous said...

The It's Alive remake actually makes the Unborn look like a decent film.

That's not a joke. If I had to sit through one or the other? I'd rather sit through the Unborn again. It at least had some nicely messed up images that would have been awesome in a better film.

But then, I think, truly given a choice between the two movies? I choose American Gothic.

Kmork said...

Does this film fall within the scope of Operation 101010, or is it deserving of a category -of absolute shit- all its own?

Stacie Ponder said...

Unfortunately, it doesn't qualify for Operation: 101010.

Dammit, I knew I should've added a "soul-sucking" category!

CashBailey said...

I thought this movie was solely about that chick's firm, shapely buttocks.

At least, that's the impression I got from all the promotional materials.

Stacie Ponder said...

Your opinion on that really wouldn't change after watching the movie. She's in her undies A LOT. Which...I don't know. It's fine, if rather silly.

Anonymous said...

Dear Stacie -

I'm reading you at work! I can't just be guffawing out loud, and you know that! So, instead I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes and making that "I don't want to guffaw chuffing weird sound, instead - like that's soooo much better" sound.

And I should punish you. I should. But, I won't. Because I adore you - as I do anyone who is uproaressly funny while reviewing a flick that really is probably beneath them. So, instead you get a link from my LJ page so that, hopefully, many more people will discover you - because more traffic will uh... punish you... in some way....

Oh, shut up! (And find more movies you hate... seriously, this was a hilarious post.)

Reel Whore said...

The Unborn was oh-so-ugh. I was suckered into it also by the lure of Gary Oldman's in it, so it can't be all bad, can it? How wrong I was.

If it hadn't been for The Haunting in Connecticut, it would've been the worst 2009 horror movie I saw.

Anonymous said...

I try to find something good even in the most craptacular movie... Here's a few things that didn't redeem The Unborn, but were still pretty cool.... Carla Gugino in those funky-ass contacts... the medicine cabinet payoff scene... and (for the dirty old men) copious camel-toe... Look on the bright side, Ponder!!

Reel Whore said...

@whatever1964: I think the Yustman cameltoe is what brightened the midpoint of the film, but then they went and wasted Gary Oldman & Idris Elba!

I Like Horror Movies said...

Fact: This film is teh terrible.

Chris Otto said...

You were too kind to this one, Final Girl.

And you got off way too easy.

I will go through my life never being able to change this fact: "The Unborn" was the only movie I saw in a theater in 2009.

I don't know how this happened. I only know that around Dec. 15, 2009, I started thinking about my year in moviegoing (I watch a LOT of movies at home) and then I realized in shame and terror that "The Unborn" represented my entire bleeping year of filmgoing.


Dok Lazlo said...

I like the college girrrrl friend who can only make conversation on the level of "talking bang." But, somehow she is an occult expert simply because she has some coffee table book on symbols that she can look into to provide shallow blurbs about what the films dreams are supposed to mean. And why can't the films protagonist just look up the stuff herself? All the "cryptic," "insightful" info provide is only about as deep as some cosmo horoscope. But I guess, once again, we are supposed to take it for granted that this character must have that "occult insight" thang going on by simply because she has a darker shade of skin, and wears dread-locks. As if, that automatically makes her kin to some Voodoo Priestess, or sumthin, by default. I guess it's just a given that you can't argue against the authority of such a cliche, stereotypical character. They just knowz things because they knowz it.