Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Unborn (1991) Dir: Rodman Flender

Prime American horror from the early nineties.

The plot:
A desperate couple, childless after five years of trying, select a gynaecologist of some repute to assist them in their bid to spawn. With alarming swiftness, the treatment he advises is successful and the woman becomes burdened. All should be good with the world but, before too long, she begins to experience strange side effects; a rash on her neck that won't stop itching, the overpowering compulsion to eat and sporadic moments of sadistic, violent tendencies.
When another woman contacts her and makes claims about the gynaecologists practices, the pregnant one begins to uncover the terrible truth: that her body is being used as a vessel to carry something more than human.

And this is proper horror, kids, with not a teenage twattling nor CGI gribbly in sight.
The moments of grossness are infrequent, but that's ok, as the focus here is more on creepy build-up and mental dischord rather than pure gore. That's not to say there's not the odd bit of gristle, which is welcome and, let's be honest, folks, images of pregnant women jabbing themselves in the belly with kitchen knives are always good for a chuckle.
Brooke Adams in the leading role is solid as ever. No surprise given her status as something of a cult movie stalwart (The Stuff, The Dead Zone, Invasion of the Body Snatchers).
Playing on the Cronenberg notions of body horror and treating pregnancy as a condition that mutates and deforms as a parasite bloats within the amniotic sac, the subject matter will of course be troublesome for the wilfully offended but, frankly, fuck them.
Though the movie does drift into the absurd during the climatic ten minutes, this was nevertheless a very satisfying dose of horror how horror used to be done.
Liked it a lot.

4 out of 5

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