Godsend is a thriller that could be seen as a modern interpretation of the Frankenstein theme about a man attempting to play God with terrible consequences.

After their young son, Adam (Cameron Bright), is killed in an accident, a couple (Greg Kinnear, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) approach an expert ( Robert De Niro) in stem cell research about bringing him back to life through an experimental and illegal cloning and regeneration process. The experiment is successful; Adam grows into a healthy and happy young boy, until his 8th birthday. As time goes by, the Duncan's gradually start to see small, subtle differences between the new Adam and the Adam they lost. Terror settles on the couple as they try to come to terms with just what they have done, or what has been done to them.

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Is like a copy of a copy of copy of a horror film and a \'bad seed\' horror film at that.

Godsend is like a copy of a copy of copy of a horror film and a \'bad seed\' horror film at that. With a script ripped straight from a midday movie or a trashy straight-to-video release, its origins lie in \'bad baby? movies such as The Omen (1976) or Village of the Damned (1960) but it never comes full term. Paul and Jessie Duncan (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Greg Kinnear) are a blissfully married couple who one day lose their young son - the biblically named Adam, Cameron Bright - in a freak accident. Out of the blue in steps outlaw geneticist Dr. Richard Weller, (Robert De Niro in yet another walk-through role), who offers them the chance of a lifetime: to clone Adam and to start again. This Faustian pact must take place in secret as does the scientific procedure. The family moves away and hopes for the best. Things of course start to go wrong once Adam reaches eight years old, the age when Adam \'first died\'.

Godsend
sincerely goes off the rails at this point, a film that can\'t make up its mind what it is. Is it a Science versus God story or a mad doctor movie? Is it a ghost story like The Sixth Sense or a serious comment on cloning and baby engineering? Or is it a straight out spook-fest? Godsend answers none of these questions and as a result commits to nothing, becoming a dull, inspired mess. It seems nowadays these sorts of films are clearly best left to Japanese filmmakers such as Hideo Nakata, who is churning them out at a rate of knots with far more satisfying results. (See Ringu and Dark Water as both share \'tormented children stories\' for starters).

Unfortunately it is a sign of the times that we are so used to seeing horror films that promise much and fail to deliver, even with A-list stars in the cast. In the age of Dolly the Sheep and the firey and frequent debates which so often take up pages of news, Godsend could have been a far better film. Is David Cronenberg the only North American filmmaker left who can handle this kind of material and make it truly frightening as well? Or do we have to go back to the 70s when made-for-television movies were actually \'good n scary\' see Embryo (1976) starring Rock Husdon and Barbara Carrera for a successful sci-fi horror such as this.

While Godsend might look like it is serious, it is technically well made - this is all slight of hand and pretence. It is superficial on the levels that count, that is in script, character and suspense. So what\'s everyone so afraid of? Not Godsend that\'s for sure. A visit to the dentist is a far scarier proposition.

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1 hour 42 min

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