The Unborn, despite its bland title, does offer some chilling moments in a usual winter of cinematic discontent.
The derivative picture from David S. Goyer, given a story credit for the story for The Dark Knight and director of forgettable fare like The Invisible establishes an inviting mood for a somewhat haunting glimpse into the undead.
The premise devised by Goyer involves Casey Beldon (Odette Yustman, pretty good in the jittery horror/creature fest Cloverfield) being touched by a dead person's soul caught in a limbo captured differently than the aforementioned The Invisible.
Casey's mother abandoned her as a child, as she learns of being a twin with her brother dying in the womb. Goyer nicely locates an unconscious rush for the viewer by way of Casey running from a park into the woods listening to her iPod. The Unborn looks to possess a fairly unique manner of presenting its eerieness; yet, it's fleeting as Casey is plagued by bad dreams and a spirit that leads her to a Kabbalistic spiritual advisor, Sendak, as played by a rather haggard Gary Oldman, last seen more impressively in The Dark Knight.
Some will find some acrid, tantalizing moments in this horror picture as something demonic is linked to the Beldon clan back during the rise of Nazi Germany. The prenatal premonition of "Jumby" leads to the anxieties of closing an otherworldy doorway by someone never having come into Casey's world.
One's quarantined with Casey with the prospect of dealing with the unleashed, and it's more torturing than tautly rendered. Jane Alexander stands out best in the mediocre supporting category as Casey's mystical grandmother who resides in a suburban nursing facility. This is the birth of a wannabe Exorcist, a teaser that topples over its suppressed memories of the Holocaust with its increasing power of possession.