What Is the Movie "The Unborn" About?

by Shawn Lealos
Odette Yustman stars in David Goyer's horror movie

Odette Yustman stars in David Goyer's horror movie "The Unborn."

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

In 2009, horror screenwriter David Goyer directed his own screenplay in this horror movie starring Odette Yustman and Gary Oldman. The movie follows the template of a possession/horror story, a teenage girl haunted by an unknown child spirit. Although critics did not give the movie the best reviews, it did enjoy a decent release, grossing $75 million at the box office.


Odette Yustman plays Casey Beldon, who begins to have numerous hallucinations including strange visions of mutated dogs and, eventually, a ghostly apparition of a young boy. Other characters in the film include her best friend Romy; Casey's boyfriend, Mark; and a father who has been hiding a great secret from his daughter. Gary Oldman enters the scene as a rabbi who sets up a voluntary exorcism.

Horror Elements

"The Unborn" mixes the typical possession movie within the trappings of a ghost story. Goyer presents many horrific elements, including mutated dogs, and he adds the typical jump scares when Casey spots the ghostly boy watching her. By the end of the movie, "The Unborn" lets loose with an action-packed finale that draws out the demon and creates a battle between the forces of good and evil, with much bloodshed.

Spoilers: Backstory

The most unique plot device in "The Unborn" revolves around the reason for the demonic possession and haunting. The movie supposes that when Nazis tortured one pair of the twins for experiments, a "dybbuk" -- a demon in Jewish folklore -- found access to our world, possessing a boy who died during the experiments. The bloodline of the possessed boy travels to Casey's family and even haunted her mother, leading to a suicide while Casey was young.

Spoilers: Resolution

The demonic child haunting Casey turns out to be her deceased twin brother, who died in the womb after Casey's umbilical cord strangled him. He now wants to live, and he haunts Casey for the sins raised against her ancestors. The exorcism does not go well; Casey's boyfriend dies. But they draw the dybbuk into their world so they can finally rid her soul of the evil spirit. The movie ends in a demented twist, though, as Casey wonders why the demon chose now to haunt her -- until she learns she is pregnant with twins.

About the Author

Shawn Lealos has been writing professionally since 1996. His articles have appeared in magazines such as Inside Sports and on websites such as 411mania.com. He works as a film critic and is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. Lealos received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Gaylord School of Journalism at the University of Oklahoma in 2000.

Photo Credits

  • Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images