Born of Earth (2008)
Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring Daniel Baldwin, Brad Dourif, James Russo, Jennifer Kincer, Shannon Zeller
Directed by Tommy Brunswick
Something born of earth has bore its way to the surface and now it's going to bore the hell out of you. Oh, yes, you will be bored - bored of earth.
This is actually one of the easiest reviews I have ever had to write. Not much of a plot or characterization and thin on action as well; pretty much everything that is wrong with Born of Earth boils down to one fundamental problem - it's boring as hell. The direction is as flat as the acting and the storytelling. Even the melancholy score succeeds only in further sedating viewers as the tedium unfolds. This one came dangerously close to legitimately putting me to sleep.
Danny Kessler (Daniel Baldwin, looking more like Jim Belushi than any of his more famous brothers) witnessed the murder of his wife by mysterious underground monsters that then dragged his two young kids back down below the ground with them never to be seen or heard from again. Five years have passed since that night when Kessler finally returns to his former hometown of Prophet Hills.
Then almost nothing happens for most of the next hour as Danny returns to the hometown and tries to convince his former sister-in-law and others that there are short, shaggy, demon-faced reptoids lurking underground killing people and snatching children in the dead of night while the mayor and the sheriff scheme to run him back out of town.
Kessler has since discovered that his encounter was not the only of its kind thanks to a book written for the Art Bell/David Icke crowd chronicling the child-napping exploits of these subterranean creatures. The nature of these monsters should be a greater mystery but since the film's opening graphic tells us up front what these godforsaken creatures are, so much for that aspect. A revelation at the end would have been more poignant had the film not spent the past 80-minutes giving us no reason to care.
Kessler's children aren't even the only ones to vanish in Prophet Hills. The Mayor is portrayed as the stereotypical greedy jerk whose one and only concern making certain nothing interferes with the big bucks land deal he's on the verge of making. The last thing he needs is Kessler spreading rumors about underground monsters and shedding light on the town's missing children problem. You would think that the Mayor would want to know why children in his small town are going missing but that is logical reasoning.
The always reliable Brad Dourif (sporting a bizarre hairdo, if I say so myself) hams it up desperately trying to breath some life into a Mayoral role written as one giant cliche that's been played out since Jaws. James Russo also goes to waste in the equally cliche role of the gruff sheriff helping the Mayor maintain the cover-up. Too much of the movie's midsection is devoted to this part of the story instead of actually building suspense or letting the monsters do their thing. Then again, even when the monster attacks are staged to maximize disinterest.
I said at the outset this was an easy one to diagnose. Boring from start to finish. I didn't expect Born of Earth to break any new ground but I was hoping for more than flat earth.
1 out of 5
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