The Unborn (15)

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The Independent Culture

Awful horror films are released all the time, but most of them, such as last month's Friday The 13th rehash, are such cynical pot-boilers that they don't provoke any reaction stronger than a headache. For a horror film to be a genuine turkey, it takes ambition, which is why connoisseurs of all things terrible should appreciate The Unborn. Its writer-director, the Blade trilogy's David S Goyer, jams in every horror idea he's ever had. At times the film is a science-fiction thriller about Nazi experiments on children in Auschwitz; at other times it's a ghost story steeped in Kabbalist mysticism. It gives us the spooky boy from The Omen and the hallucinations from The Shining, before switching to Friday the 13th mode and having an FHM cover girl (Odette Yustman) in a tight vest running around. It's all so feverish that it chucks in Gary Oldman as a rabbi who presides over a multi-faith exorcism, and an optician who poses the eternal question: "Are you familiar with the term genetic mosaicism?" I am now.

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