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The Unborn in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The Unborn

Odette Yustman • Gary Oldman • Cam Gigandet • Meagan Good
DIRECTOR: David Goyer

Casey Beldon (Odette Yustman) THE CONCEPT:
Casey (Yustman) is suddenly plagued by terrifying dreams and a tortured ghost that haunts her waking hours. She must turn to the only person who can make it stop, Rabbi Sendak (Oldman)

U.S. RELEASE: January 9 2009, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13


Gary Oldman and David Goyer“The genesis of the movie was I was in Chicago on the set for The Dark Knight visiting, and I was at dinner one night with my wife, [Jessika Borsiczky Goyer, the Executive Producer of this movie] and I said, ‘Hey, you know what would be scary? If you did a movie about a girl who has an unborn twin and she’s being haunted by the twin that was never born.’ And she said, ‘That’s f-ked up.’”

Odette Yustman“It’s so weird when somebody says, ‘Okay, we’re letting you be the lead of this movie and you’re going to be opposite Gary Oldman, but you have a bigger role than him.’ It’s like, ‘What?’ He is someone I admire and I was really nervous at first, but to tell you the truth he couldn’t have been better. He just took me under his wing and gave me great advice. He sat me down one day and he was like, ‘This is how you have to deal with the business. This is what you have to do.’ It was like, ‘You’re Gary Oldman, and you call me by my first name. This is so weird.’”

“I think directing a Horror film is sort of a lot like directing a comedy, which is there’s not really a formula for what’s funny or what’s scary, there are these innate rhythms and you just have to find them. I know what scares me. It’s not particularly scary when you’re doing it on the set, because you’ve got a hundred people around you and you know what’s coming obviously, so it’s not until you get into the editing room that you can decide whether or not it’s scary. But it’s really not until you test it, we tested this film more than any film I’ve been involved in before. It’s there in black and white, they scream or they don’t scream.”

BRAD FULLER (Producer):
“We weren’t sure if Gary would want to do the film. David wrote Batman Begins and the story for The Dark Knight, and in both films Gary played a well-written character. We thought since he had a great rapport with Gary, we could get the script to him and hope for the best.”

“Gary is a true artist and one of my top five favorite actors in the business. We felt like we had won the lottery because he anchors the film, and as it turns out he is a big fan of the Horror genre and Science Fiction films.”

Gary Oldman and Odette Yustman“Sendak is a progressive rabbi, and Casey comes to him because she is being haunted by an evil spirit and needs an exorcism. He is pretty skeptical at first but recognizes how troubled Casey is and grants her request to translate her Book of Mirrors, which she believes will, essentially, save her life. After Casey leaves his office, he begins to work on the translation when he hears a sound in the synagogue. He investigates and sees a rabid dog with its head upside down, which convinces him that there’s some truth to what Casey is saying.”

YUSTMAN on an earthquake hitting during the shooting of the exorcism scene:
“It was unbelievable how that happened, there was an earthquake in Chicago. So many weird things happened; the lights would go on and off. There was this picture taken on the set of a crewmember going down a stairwell, and these hands were grasping him, you could see hands coming out. It was like, ‘What is going on here?’”

“It’s absolutely true, we were filming the exorcism, it was the dead of winter in Chicago, it was the middle of the night, and there was an earthquake, you can Google it, it was a real, honest earthquake in Illinois, and it wasn’t a little one, it was a big one.”

“The exorcism itself involves a Hebrew psalm. It is, in fact, a prayer. I’m not Jewish, and I don’t speak Hebrew, so I worked with someone who led me through the meaning and the pronunciation. Through that work, I connected with the character, once I became familiar with it and really got it in my mouth, the rest of it fell into place. Exorcisms and possessions are a viable reality, and I think we’re all fascinated by the Supernatural. I have seen a few documentaries about exorcisms, and this film tackles the subject matter from a completely different angle. The history David’s created for The Unborn is very unique.”

“What I think is so unique about The Unborn is that it’s not a remake, it’s a new story. It’s a psychological thriller; it really kind of gets in your head. I used to have recurring dreams and it’s not an easy thing for a kid to go through, especially [in this film] being a twin and not knowing it and having your mother kill herself, or so she thinks, so there are so many things that are so real that I think that not only kids, but anybody can relate to.”

Gary Oldman and Odette Yustman

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Feature © 2009 Visual Imagination.
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Film Review, #701, December 2008 cover

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