When Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos are emotionally devastated by the loss oftheir eight-year-old son Adam, scientist Robert De Niro approaches them with an alarmingproposition: he offers to clone Adam, so that they might have him again. While Kinnear isdoubtful, he eventually capitulates, and the operation is performed. Things go very well for thefirst eight years of the new Adam’s life. Then he begins to change, as if being taken over by ademonic presence.
…p>Thoroughly trashed during its theatrical run, Godsend is far from being a disaster. Itadopts, for the most part, a low-key approach to its terrors, and builds up an effectively creepy,ominous atmosphere. It is very much in the tradition of Creepy Kids horror movies, and itsdeliberate pace has some of the feel of a 70s horror film. It does run into problems in itsresolution, however. It has far too many endings, each re-stating the same point. And sure, theplot has all been done before, but there is something almost comforting in its familiarity. Anhonourable effort, all the same.
The 5.1 audio track is an excellent example of its kind. The music is haunting, and worksvery well in surround, with a nice, heart-like bass and a terrific ominous build. Theenvironmental effects are very good too, effectively blending with the music. Left-right andfront-rear separation are solid, and if the film succeeds in being spooky, this is in no smallmeasure thanks to the sound.
The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen picture is quite sharp, and has edge breakdown issues inonly one scene. The flesh tones and blacks are good, but the colours are sometimes a bit murky.This is compounded by the grain, which gets worse in the dark scenes, and the red-illuminateddarkroom scene is a mess of pixelation. The layer transition is very clumsy too.
Director Nick Hamm is a smart, eloquent host on the commentary, clearly laying out thethinking behind just about every aspect of the film. His ambivalence about the ending is clear,and this comes through even more when one looks at the four alternate endings. Here Hammshares the commentary with writer Mark Bomback, and they discuss the relatives merits of eachending with engaging honesty. There are storyboard galleries for two scenes, and trailers forThe Punisher, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights and Shattered Glass, but notfor Godsend. The menu’s intro and main screen are animated and scored, while thetransitions and second-level screens are animated.
Perhaps, in the final analysis, the film doesn’t work, but it does try hard, and didn’t deservethe critical beating it received. Best approached with low expectations.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Alternate Endings with Optional Audio Commentary
- Storyboard Galleries