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Tartan Video presents
Unborn But Forgotten (2002)

"It was you? Yoo-shil's boyfriend...was you?"
- Soo-jin (Eun-ju Lee)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: January 19, 2006

Stars: Eun-ju Lee, Jun-ho Jeong
Other Stars: Seong-Yong Kye, Kan-hie Lee, So-Yeon Lee, Ji-Yeon Myeong
Director: Chang-jae Lim

MPAA Rating: R for (some violent content)
Run Time: 01h:30m:01s
Release Date: October 11, 2005
UPC: 842498030271
Genre: foreign


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
D FD+C C-

DVD Review

Ok, maybe it's time for the Asian horror boom to slow down or even stop. Just when things seemed to be going ok, and classic scary film after classic scary film came from overseas, a few duds began making their way stateside. Now, the biggest dud of them all is upon us, in the form of Unborn But Forgotten, a 2002 flick that is the most blatant rip-off of early Asian horror I've yet to see.

Many of these movies are often a bit hard to follow, but Unborn But Forgotten is practically indecipherable. There is a story here, but filmmaker Chang-jae Lim is more concerned with copying various aspects of Ringu, Kairo, and even Dark Water to focus on an original, coherent tale. Sure, you can find similarities among those three features themselves, and many a recent horror flick has been influenced at least somewhat by the Asian horror boom, but never have I seen such shameless copying.

Soo-jin (Eun-ju Lee) is a TV reporter who learns about a web page that allegedly kills women 15 days after they visit it. She teams up with Lee Seok (Jun-ho Jeong), a detective on the internet crimes task force, to track down what, or who is behind these deaths. Each woman dies as a result of a sudden swelling of their uteruses, which, in turn, crushes their internal organs, making them basically die from a sudden pregnancy. Soo-jin becomes pregnant herself from a colleague, and she is soon pressured by him and her employer to terminate the unwanted fetus. Refusing, Soo-jin moves in to the apartment where these mysterious deaths took place, thinking that she can get to the bottom of this given her current condition.

Unborn But Forgotten is the most pathetic excuse for an Asian horror movie yet. It's bad enough that Chang-jae Lim basically decided to take an element from so many recent Asian horror films, but what really drags the film down is just how uninvolved we are with the characters. No one, not even the main character, Soo-jin,, is fleshed out at all, and in what is supposed to be an emotional, dare I say, scary experience, the viewer never feels for anything she is going through. The concept of the surprise pregnancy/instant death is beyond belief, therefore it doesn't work in the slightest bit as a death mechanism for which to base a horror film on.

I'm all for suspending disbelief, but such suspension has to be for something that is worth the audience's effort. Jun-ho Jeong's detective is the sorriest excuse for that profession to hit the silver screen in a long time. This guy not only can't seem to do any research beyond his own foot, but his role in the big reveal at the end can be telegraphed from the first moment he appears.

Eun-ju Lee (who committed suicide in early 2005) embodies an equally dumb character, and she's the lead! Ok, many horror movie heroines make bad decisions over the course of their ordeal, but Soo-jin could have avoided much of her trouble by staying in her own apartment. There's really no rhyme or reason why she should have lived in the "evil apartment," and she manages to make many other stupid mistakes once there, including mishaps in a bathtub and her use of a video camera. Unborn But Forgotten is worth a rental if only to witness just how inept it is as a movie, but that's really the only reason to endure this mess.

Rating for Style: D
Rating for Substance: F

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: This non-anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen transfer suffers from a few problems. Suffering from quite a bit of compression, image detail is greatly compromised, a fatal flaw for such a darkly shot project. Dark is good for a horror film, but when you can't even see the ghouls and ghosts during the payoff moments, the flick is all the more ineffective. About the only bright spot is the lack of grain and dirt, but this is a rare misstep from Tartan Video in the video department.

Image Transfer Grade: D+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Koreanyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Koreanyes
DTSKoreanyes


Audio Transfer Review: We have three audio options, and, sadly, none of them really separate themselves from the other. The DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes are virtually identical, but they are far more low-key than what we've come to expect from the respective formats, and don't exhibit much more dynamic range or surround activity than the 2.0 track. Bass is virtually non-existent, except during a couple of jump scares, and the Korean dialogue is always easy to hear above the rest of the audio elements.

Audio Transfer Grade: C

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Face, Oldboy, Wishing Stairs, A Tale of Two Sisters, Phone, Memento Mori
1 Documentaries
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Interviews
  2. Photo Gallery
Extras Review: A few decent extras are on board, including On the Set, an hour-long documentary that is far more interesting and comprehensible than the film itself. This lengthy piece is a collection of production footage that gives us a candid look at the making of Unborn But Forgotten.

There are a pair of interviews; one each with the two principal cast members. These discussions aren't very revelatory with the interview participants basically just praising the film.

There's also a photo gallery, the original theatrical trailer for Unborn But Forgotten, and a collection of other Tartan Asia Extreme releases.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

It's bad enough that Unborn But Forgotten is a waste of time, but Tartan Video's DVD is almost just as bad. The box says we get an anamorphic widescreen presentation, but this transfer isn't anamorphic at all, and it has problems on top of that misstep. The audio's not that great either, and the extras are generally forgettable.

 


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