Five Favorite Films with David S. Goyer

The writer/director of The Unborn also talks dybbuks, twins and Jewish mysticism.

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David Goyer Jim Spellman/WireImage.com

Writer/director David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, the Blade trilogy) has held close associations to the comic book genre -- he's currently awaiting the green light on his script for X-Men Origins: Magneto -- but took a break from adapting superhero tales to write and direct an original horror story. The result is this week's The Unborn, a PG-13 supernatural thriller about a doe eyed co-ed named Casey (Cloverfield's Odette Yustman) haunted by an ancient Jewish dybbuk, or demon.

Unlike many contemporary horror films, The Unborn opts for old-fashioned suspense over gore and treads ground rare for its genre; twin studies, Nazi experimentation, Jewish mysticism and even the abortion debate pop up thematically throughout Goyer's tale, which also stars Meagan Good, Gary Oldman, and Cam Gigandet.

Rotten Tomatoes spoke with Goyer about his other extra-cinematic influences, how he developed The Unborn through his own personal fascinations, and whether or not the film is meant to spark the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate. He also shared his Five Favorite Films, noting that his choices are ever-changing and perhaps surprising. "Those aren't necessarily the kinds of films I might make," Goyer explained. "But that's okay -- I think people are more complex. We're not just little sound bites."


The Man Who Would Be King (1975, 100% Tomatometer)
The Man Who Would Be KingWell, my favorite film of all time, period, is The Man Who Would Be King. John Huston, you know, based on the Rudyard Kipling story. Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer. First of all, I love Connery and Caine, and John Huston is probably my favorite old-time director, and I just love that movie from start to finish. I love everything about it -- I can never get enough of it. It's epic adventure, and I love the rogueish relationship between Connery and Caine's characters. I think I was 13 or 14 when I first saw it. I watch it probably once a year -- I love it.

Being There (1979, 97% Tomatometer)
Being ThereAnother one is Being There. Hal Ashby -- that's finally coming out on Blu-ray and DVD, so I'm very excited about that. That movie, I think, is just a really lovely, amazing movie. Peter Sellers' best movie by far, and Hal Ashby's best, in my opinion. I think it's just terribly funny and terribly touching, and...I don't know. I love that movie.


28 Days Later (2003, 88% Tomatometer)
28 Days Later What else? 28 Days Later is one of my favorite movies -- a horror film. Danny Boyle is probably my favorite director. I just loved how ballsy 28 Days Later was, from start to finish. He's fearless, he'll do any genre -- "Fine, I'm going to do a zombie movie" -- and just smack you in the face with it.


Pan's Labyrinth (2006, 96% Tomatometer)
Pan's LabyrinthPan's Labyrinth is one of my top five. That's just a perfect movie, a beautiful movie, and I thought it absolutely deserved to win Best Foreign Film until I saw The Lives of Others.

Rotten Tomatoes: Pan's Labyrinth was made by Guillermo del Toro, who you've worked with. Were you able to see it before it came out?

David Goyer: I just saw some artwork. He showed me some of his journals where he sketches, and told me a little over dinner one time, a year or so before he made it, but it's kind of an impossible film to describe. I think everything he does is interesting, but it was hard to visualize until I'd seen it.


The Lives of Others (2006, 93%)
The Lives of OthersI couldn't believe I hadn't seen it, and among recent movies, it's probably in my top five as well. I couldn't believe Pan's Labyrinth got shut out, and then I saw The Lives of Others and was floored. I bawled like a baby at the end of that movie. Just staggering.



Next: Goyer discusses his influences outside of film and how his creative process took him from twins to Nazi science to demons and beyond...

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