Monday, February 18, 2019

I Don't Want to Be Unborn!

In the small but fierce subgenre that is anti-choice horror, emotions tend to run high...and quality often low.

Quick Plot: Journalist Trai and his teacher wife Phim grow concerned as their young daughter, Yaimai, begins an unhealthy relationship with an imaginary friend she refers to as “Little One.” Little One seems ominous, luring Yaimai into dangerous situations centered around a mysterious temple and its outdoor mortuary lockers.

Nearby, the temple’s caretaker has his own dark secret: he subsidizes his low wages with a cash bonus he gets for regularly disposing of an illegal abortionist’s trash. Somewhere in the pile of 2002 fetuses, an angry spirit has been born, and it won’t stop until it punishes anyone responsible for its lonely fate.

Directed by Poj Amon and “based on a true story” (presumably about the chain-smoking abortionist, and not the haunted toy that signals a ghost fetus), The Unborn Child is a blatantly pro-life bit of propaganda disguised (for a while) as a horror movie. Honestly, this pro-choice blogger isn't offended by the film's ridiculous politics. The problem with The Unborn Child is that it's boring.

Granted, it's hard to even come close to being nearly as memorable as the tentpole for terrible anti-choice horror, 2011's Unborn Sins. I'm still somewhat convinced that those 80 minutes were nothing more than a fever dream induced by me topping a quesadilla with expired sour cream.

Anyway, The Unborn Child does not involve nearly as much dancing or a line as special as "the spirit of my child turned into a midget freak with homicidal tendencies" (actual dialog from Unborn Sins), but yes, it's technically a better-made movie than aforementioned dairy fantasy. At the same time, if I had to live in a world with only one bad-to-mediocre horror movie about a vengeful fetus ghost, the choice is obvious.

High Points
While the payoff is disappointing, there are certainly strong individual moments of tension and buildup that show Amon to have some strong instincts with the genre

Low Points

There are a LOT of things I can complain about in The Unborn Child so picking one isn't easy, but let's land on the fact that a big, boggling reveal towards the end regarding a main character's real persona demonstrates just how little character development this movie tried to have

Lessons Learned
Much like Hallmark Christmas movie heroines, Thai women go to bed in full makeup and beautifully flattering nightwear

If you're trying to send a fervent anti-abortion message with your movie, maybe don't end it with a soundtrack that incorporates obnoxiously screaming babies

The Unborn Child isn't a terrible movie, but it's messy and dull, and its preaching politics certainly don't help. Still curious? It's on Netflix, which is easier to access than the depths of my fantasies that dreamed up Unborn Sins.


  1. Is that last shot an actual scene in the movie? The dancing baby? A software ad mascot from the 90s... GAH!

    1. I only wish! Whenever I see a creepy CGI baby, I can't not flash back to Ally McBeal. The more I think about it, that single shot may be the real reason I'm not having children!