By: Ray Williams III
When watching horror movies, I often ask myself, “Why am I scared?” Is it the thing of evil on the TV screen that I’m afraid of? Or can it be something that runs much deeper into the realm of the human psyche? In any case, I have a great need to try to understand those fears. Those nagging thoughts are always telling me to not worry or to accept that it isn’t real and just let it go. However, the end result is the same—I just need answers.
In this first article for Aspects of Evil, I want to delve into the unrated version of the movie The Unborn. A brief synopsis—a young woman named Casey is haunted and possessed by a malevolent wandering spirit known as a dybbuk. It wishes to be born again into the mortal world and will stop at nothing to attain its goal.
First off, I would like to mention I really got excited when I saw two actors, James Remar (Harry Morgan) and C.S. Lee (Vince Masuka), from the TV series Dexter. This July I binged Dexter seasons 1 through 7 (so far) on Netflix. These two actors almost played similar roles—Remar was Casey’s father, and Lee played her doctor. I know, I know. The symmetry in my comparison for Lee’s role is very loose between a forensic analyst and a doctor, but hey he still wore a lab coat! Just so you know, I patiently waited in vain for Dexter to pop out of the darkness to anesthetize the dybbuk with “M99” and to take out the “trash.”
What made the dybbuk scary?
Physical appearances and its possession ability.
The dybbuk took many physical forms to haunt its intended victim; the primary one was of Casey’s great uncle Barto, who was her grandmother’s twin brother that died in the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz. It also appeared as swarms of potato bugs and even an extremely creepy mask-wearing dog. Honestly, tell me that this doesn’t scare you?!
The first human inhabited by the dybbuk was Matty, the little neighbor boy that Casey babysat. During their first interaction, we hear the possessed boy tell her that “Jumby wants to be born”. Another victim was the mindless old man whose neck crunched and twisted around to make an upside down face and contorted body. In case you forgot about the aforementioned dog, it also returns later. This time it has an upside down face minus the creepy little boy mask—not as scary in my opinion. Other various forms in which it tormented Casey included a fetus in a formaldehyde jar and an unsightly, altogether ghastly version of her mother.
As stated in the movie, the power of dybbuk’s possession ability begins at a slow rate, starting with insects and animals. It is eventually able to overtake stronger human bodies like Casey’s best friend Romy, her boyfriend Mark, and even a Christian priest at the height of its power. As we see when Matty stabs Romy, it can kill others while in another’s body. Literally, no one is safe from being possessed or killed by this evil thing!
Where does my fear come from?
Anything that doesn’t look like it’s supposed to, such as heads turned the wrong way or dogs wearing little boy masks and doing nothing but stare at you, is just not right. Seeing unnatural beings and contorted body parts are enough to physically scare and gross me out, no doubt.
The biggest desire I felt during this movie was the need to feel safe, which is essential to us all. Fear drives the flight or fight response when one is faced with a stressful situation. And yes, to lose complete control of one’s body by an unknown evil entity is what humans have feared for thousands of years.
Moreover, we find out that in Jewish mythology the dybbuk is an evil wandering dislocated spirit. This was how many strange events or behaviors were explained by people in the past. To summarize, the dybbuk’s various haunting physical appearances and its power of possession is what really scared me the most.
I’m contemplating breaking all my mirrors and burning them tonight…
TV & Movies
Henry Huge Pecs
Ray Williams III
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