I have something of a personal rule about horror movies, developed over the ages of my horror movie expertise. Basically, any movie that depends heavily on pentagrams, either as part of the box art or within the movie itself, is going to be an incredible exercise in misery.
On the surface, Born shouldn’t have been that bad. It features two low-budget horror film staples, Denise Crosby and Kane Hodder (who, as we all know, was the best Jason Voorhees ever), and the idea is basically sound. A demon carrying the name Asmodeus, which last I knew was an actual demon name, used to be a human on earth but became a torturer down in hell. Satan gave the demon in question a chance to become human again, but at a horrifying price. He’s got to not only knock up his still-living virgin sister, but also get some murders going and allow the incestuous spawn to be born. Once it is born, it’ll carry on with its prenatal murder spree and eventually grow up to die and take daddy Asmodeus’ place. Meanwhile, the man who once was a normal human will become so again.
So you can see, this might well have been a normal horror flick. And indeed, there will be more than a few positively creepy moments as Alison Brie, playing the mommy to be, works her generally effective transformation from bewildered young girl to insane psychopathic tot.
And yet…and yet there will be so many moments that are just plain idiotic. Some of Alison’s transformation sequences come off unsuccessfully–in fact, some times it’s even hard to tell just who’s talking: the demon-baby or the mommy. Don’t even get me started on the time that mommy to be started lactating high-pressure acid. Seriously, she took out a mirror with a jet of that stuff and it started smoking on the glass.
And the last fifteen minutes are going to waver between brilliance and sheer ludicrousity in such a rapid fashion that it’s a wonder the audience doesn’t get whiplash from the jerking motions. The last five minutes, meanwhile, will make virtually no sense. No more qualification than that on that one–it is what it is and what it is is utter nonsense.
Make no mistake–this is not a total loss. There are creepy moments in here and if you’re into creepy then you’ll get some spark out of it. The problem is that it’s packaged in so much nonsense, psuedoreligious garbage and sheer idiocy that, even if you ARE deep into creepy, you’re going to have to wade through a septic tank of sheer pointlessness just to get at that creepy. In all honesty, who wants to do THAT?
Born is going to bring a lot of nastiness, a good share of creepy, and some occasional bright moments to its proceedings, but will do so at an horrific cost. The question you’ll have to ask yourself when staring this monster down on your video store shelf is: is it a price you’re willing to pay?