Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Sunday, August 04, 2013

Bad Movie Month has a Sister's Choice that is less than a Godsend

Since my sister Stephanie celebrates her birthday in August, part of my gift to her is to let her pick one awful film for me to highlight during Bad Movie Month and this year's Sister's Choice feature is Godsend, a 2004 thriller starring such big guns as Robert De Niro,Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romjin-Stamos.

Greg and Rebecca play Paul and Jessie,an upscale couple considering trading in big city life for the suburbs just as their young son(Cameron Bright) is turning eight years old. Paul is a high school biology teacher,Jessie is a photographer and the first act showcases their currently shiny happy life.

 With such a set-up in a horror movie, you know that tragedy is not far around the corner as Mom lets her little boy play outside as a huge death car comes barreling towards him:


As Paul and Jessie are slowly digesting their grief, in comes the Mad Scientist,aka Dr. Richard Wells who just happens to be one of Jessie's old college professors. Quite a coincidence,eh?

Dr. Wells offers the couple his sympathies and a chance to get their son restored to them,thanks to a secret cloning process being tested out at his high tech fertility lab.

 Of course, they have to go into a Witness Relocation type of plan and let the allegedly good doctor give them a fancy new house in the burbs,plus a new job for Paul and other bonuses,which would make even a mourning parent wonder how this can all be instantly provided like this without any ties to the government or a multimillionaire plotting to create a secret army out to conquer the world. I know that doctors make a good living there,but this is ridiculous:

 So, little Adam 2.0 is born and everything is hunky-dory, with the not-so-good doctor being part of the family circle as "Uncle Richard"(serious warning bells are ringing here,folks).

 As soon as New Adam turns eight,the happy times start coming to an end as clone boy starts having nightmares involving a burning school house(which he also draws pictures of,in typical creepy kid fashion) and acting out by spitting on his classmates. More alarm bells going off!

With Adam:The Next Generation getting more and more unstable,daddy Paul starts to ask pesky questions of "Uncle Richard" who keeps insisting that night terrors are no big deal and that there was no way to tell how Adam was intended to develop beyond age eight,which Paul doesn't quite buy and I don't blame him.

Granted,night terrors are tricky but they don't explain why a kid would dream about burning schools and being drowned in a bathtub which didn't happen to them in their previous incarnation,not to mention answering to a whole other name during his scary little trances! At this point, enough warning bells are ringing to wake Helen Keller up from the dead,seriously.

When one of New Edition Adam's school mates dies from a mysterious "accident", Paul turns detective and discovers that "Uncle Richard" had himself a wicked little boy who burned up(after offing his mom,in the very house given to them by Dr. Wells, another amazing coincidence!) and decided to bring him back by piggybacking his dubious DNA onto their Adam reboot.

One of the biggest flaws in this film is that it's all set-up with very little payoff. Adam seems to be both victim and menace,with Dr. Wells as his Frankenstein father figure and that should be worth a decent scare or two but the story keeps meandering along towards a major confrontation between Paul and Papa Doc that fizzles out towards the end,with a so-so ending that feels like a cheat.

Adam is stopped from his intended evil ways but only after Paul manages to quickly recover from a serious blow to the head that knocks him out while trapped in a church set on fire by devious Dr. Wells(so not kidding about this) to rush home in time to save the day.

 Turns out that several endings were filmed, with only one that I saw on the extras that made any sense,given the plot points arranged beforehand.  Not that it would have helped make the finale better by much,yet it would have at least raised this from a go-nowhere scenario to a creepy almost-ran:

This movie was so forgettable that my sister had to actually remind me of our mutual opening weekend viewing of it(she was not forced to see this,it was her choice!). Just as well, even re-watching this sucker made me regret reliving this all over again. I know that Cameron Bright has a bit of a following these days,thanks to his role as one of the Volturi in the Twilight movies, but I would urge his fans not to bother with this one. I'm sure even he wants to forget about it.

Well, my sister's birthday is tomorrow,so I will be celebrating with her and hope you will tune next time when we return to our The Devil Made Me Do It theme to explore End of Days with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Good old Arnie battles Satan in NYC while offering up some nutritional tips that might even impress the current mayor of that fair city-hey, you are what you eat!:

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