THE UNBORN, the 90’s horror cult classic, from director Rodman Flender (Idle Hands), is a reminder as to why pregnancy terrifies me so much. The film stars Brooke Adams (Invasion of the Body Snatchers), Jeff Hayenga (Bones), and James Karen (The Return of the Living Dead, Poltergeist) and features cameos by Lisa Kudrow (Friends) and Kathy Griffin (Suddenly Susan) before they hit the big time.
All Virginia (Brooke Adams) and Jeff (Brad Adams) Marshall want is a baby of their own. When they get referred to a mysterious doctor, they decide to join a special in-vitro fertilization program which proves to be successful when Virginia learns she’s pregnant. However, her body soon begins to undergo some weird transformations that she first brushes off as being nothing out of the ordinary. Unfortunately, when the side-effects become more and more extreme, she begins to believe that maybe her unborn baby is much more than she bargained for. Has she just become paranoid or did the mysterious doctor inseminate her with a mutated sperm altered to kill?
Prior to Scream Factory releasing this film on Blu-ray, I had only seen THE UNBORN remake from 2009 and oh boy, that was not a good film. However, I’m happy to say that my thoughts on the original are much more positive as I really enjoyed this little flick. It was also a nice surprise to see cameos from both Lisa Kudrow and Kathy Griffin, something I was definitely not expecting but added to the enjoyment of the overall film. I’m not going to say that this is the best movie out there, because it is far from it, but the use of practical effects while showcasing how terrifying pregnancy already seems, definitely won me over.
My favorite part of the film was how we were able to see everything unfold from the perspective of Virginia. We are going on this journey with her and it’s horrifying to watch as she questions what is happening to her body and the living thing inside of her. As someone who is terrified at the thought of pregnancy, this movie definitely gave me pause, and even though I don’t ever think I’d have a demon baby, the thought of birthing a child sends shivers down my spine. I guess you could say pregnancy related horror is one of my Achilles, but god damn, that shit can be terrifying to watch! Brooke Adams does a fantastic job of going from a loving mom-to-be, to an unhinged woman questioning her own sanity and if she should even be having this child, which is slightly horrifying to watch.
Of course, with a film from the ’90s, it does have those moments of corniness and cringe-worthy delivery in its dialogue. However, it wasn’t enough to deter me from the overall film, if anything it kind of added to it. The acting, as a whole, was relatively good, even though I was beginning to get annoyed at Brad Marshall’s slightly misogynistic behavior towards his wife. In the end though, this movie was about Virginia and Brooke Adams truly carried the film from beginning to end. As for the gore and practical effects, THE UNBORN had a fair amount and for the most part it was done very well. My only gripe was when the baby was finally revealed – I had a hard time taking that seriously because the baby looked so ridiculous.
Lately, I’ve been watching a slew of ’90s low-budget horror films which I’ve really been enjoying. As I said in a recent review, I’m super grateful that Scream Factory has been releasing these gems because they are films that completely went under my radar. THE UNBORN definitely had some missteps, but overall, I enjoyed the hell out of it and found it to be very entertaining, far more than it’s 2009 remake. Fans of cult classic horror films will find a lot to love with THE UNBORN, so I highly suggest picking up the Blu-ray and diving into not only the movie, but all the kickass special features.