The problem with Asian horror is that not all the reference points are understood or picked up on by Western viewers and while it is inevitable that prior Asian films are referenced, the influence of non-Asian movies should also not be ignored. A simple example in this case is the concept of abortions in certain Asian societies where the onus on the woman to clear the problem and the erecting of graves for such unborn foetuses occur, and becomes a central motif in this film. The structure of the film script as another reviewer has observed leaves a lot to be desired but the simple suspense effects and the acting especially of Eun-je Lee in the lead female role (who sadly committed suicide four years later) are sufficient to make it worthy of more than passing interest.
Rather than cross referencing with other films (especially the predecessor Asian horror films given the sheer volume of output of the genre across several Asian countries that exists) I would suggest that each movie is best initially judged based on a stand alone basis. This movies final third is the big let down but the lead up and the pushing of what might be happening is handled effectively enough to merit watching. My Thai wife and I certainly enjoyed the plot shifts even if some of the male acting left a lot to be desired at times. Interesting but not essential viewing would be my summary.
The "on the set" featurette extra included is worthy of more than passing interest I would suggest because as a candid camera type observation of the shooting of easily identified scenes in the movie, it underlines how demanding such film shoots are for the actors in maintaining focus and also how basic the set and effects can be, plus the director having a very clear picture of what he is after including use of storyboards is very key.
Sometimes it really does seem like there are no original ideas. "Unborn But Forgotten" is prime proof of that, a movie so crammed with cliches and ripoffs that it seems like a spoof.
Ever since the arrival of hit Japanese film "Ringu" and its solid remakes and sequels, there have been some truly lame ripoffs -- "Phone," for one, and the American cluck-clucker "Feardotcom." But "Unborn But Forgotten" takes that lameness and runs off into the distance with it.
Su-Jin (Eun-joo Lee) is a determined young journalist, with a peculiar mystery to investigate: women have been dying of bizarre physiological causes, apparently linked to ultra-fast pregnancies, even though none of them were pregnant before. The only link is a website called The White Room, which will kill you after fifteen days.
Of course, Su-Jin (who is already pregnant by her moody boyfriend) goes to the site. And having doomed herself, she begins searching for the origins of this cursed site. She finds out that it is due to a vengeful ghost (not another one!) who lost her child, and is apparently using the site to produce ghost babies.
Sound familiar? Just insert the word "tape" instead of "website," and "seven" instead of "fifteen," and you've got "Ringu."
It may seem like a new twist to have the pregnancy angle, but to anyone who has seen Hideo Nakata's "Rasen" -- the sequel to "Ringu" -- the pregnancy angle will seem all too familiar. Well, at least they found new aspects of the Ring Curse to rip off, rather than mere death.
Using a similar storyline isn't necessarily a death knell, but the slipshod script and lackluster acting seal the movie's fate. Director Chang-jae Lim is either inept or discouraged by the turkiness of this film, and so doesn't bother anything other than "boo!" scares. Subtle spookery can turn even a clunker into something interesting, but Lim seems too bored to manage it.
Screenwriter Hyeon-geun Han is definitely inept, leaving all the wrong plot threads dangling. How does a ghost start a site? WHY a site? Why is she mad? What's the point of what she's doing? And why the heck is the human murderer revealed so early, when he could have provided plenty of suspense? Don't expect any of it to make sense.
There are a few subplots that are interesting to us -- for example, the boyfriend finding that the pregnant Su-Jin might cripple his career, and how he responds to it. But such character-building is swept to the wayside. Instead, we get the occasional creepy moment (Su-Jin watching herself die), smothered in dull spookiness and incredibly obvious plotting.
With some decent acting but a terrible and derivative storyline, "Unborn But Forgotten" deserves to be forgotten.
on 26 May 2013
I bought this because it was fairly cheap, also because I enjoy owning the Tartan film range, I have to admit I was very disappointed with the film. I can't say that it was scary or anything, and since the main lead from 'Marrying the Mafia' I was expecting some kind of humour/comedy through out. Of course it this wasn't the case. I just wasn't too captivated by the story, or the performances, or even the music- Korean films normally have incredibly emotional and stirring classical music socres that help to create pathos and atmosphere, just look at 'A Tale of Two Sisters'. 'Unborn But Forgotten' didn't do anything for me what so ever. Not to say all Korean horror films are this way, they've made some great thrillers and horror films- I really enjoyed 'Into the Mirror', 'The Uninvited' was an incredible film as well. I suggest trying those instead of 'Unborn But Forgotten'.