The Unborn Child (2011) vs. Gosnell (2018)
Sex and violence are staples of American pop culture. When the two are combined in the form of abortion, however, the nation’s storytellers seem to develop a bit of stage fright. Either they dance around the subject with the delicacy of an old virgin maid, or they tell the same two games of morality over and over again. It is either a story of the misery faced by women who want abortions but cannot get them, or the regret and discomfort caused by discovering old abortions. But for a subject that rocked American politics for more than half a century, there has been little valuable entertainment that has grappled with either reality or the metaphysical questions posed by abortion.
This edition of KIMT’s Weekend Throwdown will take a look at two films that tackle the problem from either side. One is a foreign film that exploits its existential ugliness for low-key horror thrills and the other is a crowd-funded American production that seems almost scared by its outright truth. It’s “The Unborn Child” (2011) versus “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer” (2019) in a contest to see if horrible truths make the best horror movies from adult cam.
Did her mom cut her hair with a broken bowl?
“The Unborn Child” is a movie set in Thailand that claims to be based on the true story of a woman who claimed that the ghost of her aborted baby haunted her. So… “true” might grow a bit. It follows the loosely interconnected stories of a teenage couple who just got pregnant, a professional middle-class couple with a young girl, a bitten abortionist and his corpse-baby disposition partner, and an actress. faced with a collapsed career and an unwanted pregnancy. It’s one of those Asian ghost movies where 90% of the action revolves around the characters reacting to scary sounds and something behind them that only the audience can see.
In presenting us with a Thailand where abortion is severely restricted and even more stigmatized, there are elements of the “unborn child” that will be strikingly pro-choice in the eyes of Americans. He is brutally honest about the terrible dilemma faced by young women who get pregnant before they are ready, and the even more terrible efforts they will make to free themselves from this maternal burden. The black market abortion practices displayed in this film are more gruesome in their involvement than a thousand gallons of fake blood and fake viscera. No one in good conscience would ever want a woman to go through this.
I think I know where the guys who did the CGI for “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” ended up.
Yet “The Unborn Child” also argues in no uncertain terms that abortion is as much an anathema to traditional Buddhist morality as it is to traditional Christian teaching, showing it as the taking of an innocent life and justifying revenge. supernatural of its victims. The abortionist and his funeral partner are clearly defined as evil, but neither are portrayed as inhuman, especially when we see their rationalizations and excuses shattered when faced with the magnitude of what they are. did.
What is more interesting about “The Unborn Child” is how it demonstrates the power of cultural imperialism. It shows us four different levels of Thai society. There are high school students who have neither money nor own resources. There is the working-class nature of the abortionist and the undertaker. There is the success of the middle class of married professionals. And then there is the actress who lives the lifestyle of the always rich and famous. What is fascinating is that the higher you go up the socio-economic scale, the more the characters become Americanized. Poorer characters look, speak, and dress like they’re from a foreign country, but wealthier characters would be fine in San Francisco or Des Moines. Although they are of the same nationality, they could just as easily belong to different worlds.
“What kind of gumball machine did THIS come out of?”
For its part, “Gosnell” is perhaps one of the most disturbing non-horror films ever made. It’s a story that touches electrifying issue after issue, from race and gender to exploitation and willful blindness to atrocities, but the producers literally had to go begging for money to do it. . Hollywood has just made a second big screen version of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”, the umpteenth version of Robin Hood, a remake of “Butterfly” and a movie about the 1970s tennis rivalry between John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg. But a black doctor in downtown Philadelphia who has been accused of not only killing an adult patient through medical incompetence, but possibly murdering thousands of babies after birth? ANYBODY in show business thought this would be a movie worth making?
Based much more faithfully on Kermit Gosnell’s truly true story, this film is surprisingly understated given its subject matter. I mean, a medical fanatic killing dozens of innocent children for decades while letting his doctor’s office and home turn into something off the “Hoarders?” TV show. It’s as if “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” really happened. But this film does everything possible to avoid visual excesses or gross emotional manipulations. Partly, I’m sure it’s because they didn’t have the budget for something too fancy. But I believe that the tone of this film is mostly a deliberate decision to approach it more as a historical document than as sensationalist propaganda. It is absolutely correct to say that the investigation, arrest and trial of Kermit Gosnell is something that the American mainstream media and American popular culture really wanted to ignore. Check out the difference in your favorite search engine results between “Kermit Gosnell” and “George Tiller”. The people behind this film wanted to be sure that this story wouldn’t be washed out.
And somewhere, Bill Cosby breathes a sign of relief that he’s no longer the nice old black man with the worst secret life.
But I also suspect that the creators of “Gosnell” were a little afraid of pushing things too far. This is possibly the biggest, wettest, reddest bloody shirt the pro-life movement can ever wield and I think the filmmakers avoided being as explicit as they could, even when ‘they presented the pure and pure truth, because they feared the backlash. Not just having a film and media business shift from refusing to distribute, promote, or talk about “Gosnell” to actively trying to destroy the careers of everyone involved. I imagine they were also concerned that a movie that made “The Passion of the Christ” a romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks wouldn’t appeal to those most interested in the film’s staple message.
Nick Searcy’s look when someone suggested his next movie is about the founder of the North America Man / Boy Love Association.
“The unborn child” takes a long time to come to its great end, which is then slightly spoiled by the CGI effects that appear to have been prepared on someone’s old Commodore 64. This makes it easy to give this Throwdown to “Gosnell”, which is pretty well done by everyone involved. But I think they both go a long way to show why abortion isn’t such fertile ground for horror movies and why TV and cinema keep recycling the same safe abortion plots. and predictable over and over again. I mean, it’s not like there are a bunch of Holocaust horror movies… is it?
The unwritten rule for all cop partners … always the color coordinate!
The Unborn Child (2011)
Written by Poj Arnon and Thanadon Nuansutthi.
With Somchai Kemgland, Pitchanart Sakakorn, Chinaradi Anupongphichart, Chudapha Chanthakhet, Peerawit Boonark, Arisara Thongborisut and Gathinda Chaang.
Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Greatest Serial Killer (2018)
Written by Andrew Klavan, Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer.
Directed by Nick Searcy.
With Dean Cain, Sarah Jane Morris, Nick Searcy, Michael Beach, Cyrina Fiallo, Earl Billings, Janine Turner, Paula Jay Fairbrother and Alfonzo Rachel