Godsend / Magnolia Hell
Starring screen legend Robert De Niro, “Godsend” is the story of an eight year old boy named Adam Duncan. A kind, thoughtful and well-behaved child, he’s the apple of his parent’s eye, until one day he’s knocked down by a car and tragically killed. With both parents totally grief-stricken, the mysterious Dr Richard Wells (De Niro) offers them another chance of happiness. He can create a clone of Adam that will be identical to the child they lost. Nine months later they have their child back. Identical in every way, it’s like Adam had never left them. He has his mother’s eyes, his father’s smile, but when he crosses the age at which he died, terrifying things begin to happen.
2004 – Certificate: 15 – American Film
Rating Details: Language: once strong. Sex/nudity: infrequent moderate. Violence: infrequent moderate. Other: moderate horror.
8.0 out of 10
Whilst I have a lot of sympathy for Jean-Paul Sartre’s view that “Hell is other people”, he failed to take into account their surroundings. After this last week I now know that Hell is less to do with people, or fire and brimstone for that matter; in fact Hell is a large room painted magnolia. In the same way as the Devil has a variety of different names, such as Satan, Beelzebub, Lucifer, etc, so magnolia disguises it’s presence amongst us as alternatives like light brown, biscuit, white with a touch of brown, beige, mushroom, wheat, taupe, fawn and harvest. This week we moved our office at work, (or more accurately moved everything in our office to a different building to use as a new office; we didn’t actually dig up the existing one and put it elsewhere). Moving is a stressful and spirit-sapping experience at the best of times, but when you have to paint every single surface, including the floor (about 500 square metres in all) before you leave, in three days, mostly magnolia, then you come to realise what pain is really all about. The only respite was repainting the ceiling, doors, door frames, skirting boards and 12 radiators, white. And painting something white on a white background in a weakly lit area isn’t exactly my idea of a fun day at Alton Towers either. In fact the only facet of pleasure came from deciding which shade of gray to paint the floor, slate or frigate; and after magnolia, gray is the next worst colour. I imagine there are more advanced species in the universe that have, in a similar way to smallpox, totally eradicated magnolia and grey from existence. Magnolia is the distilled essence of evil. However, for some reason there are many sick-minded and weak-willed individuals who appear to gain a sort of inner peace from using this colour. Why? What’s wrong with them? Appearing initially to be the colour equivalent of elevator music, any close encounter with it soon dispels any pretence it has of being ‘neutral’. It’s a vile, boring, sick, nauseating abomination, which is as attractive as having a squashed, pregnant cockroach smeared on your mouth; and then some. And why is it always the cheapest paint you can buy? The artificial distortion of the paint market in this way is clearly the work of some ungodly power. If our media had any real balls, it would be investigating this bizarre and unwarranted proliferation of magnolia; it’s destroying lives. In a similar way, this film is about something that goes against the laws of nature and scared the crap out of me too.
At its core, this is a thriller/horror about a disturbing, eight-year-old skinhead called Adam, who develops a mental illness of some sort. The reasons for the latter are, unusual. The rest of its runtime is spent faffing about with his parents and Robert De Niro, as they act and react to what Adam gets up to. If you analyse the plot too much, you’ll come to the conclusion that some of it doesn’t really make a lot of sense. Visually it’s not a very exciting film either; it looks a lot like it was ‘made for TV’ with a colour pallet that’s far too much like magnolia for my liking. However, the acting’s pretty good and the story interesting enough. The decision of the parents to have a clone of their recently killed son created is worthy of further study. This part of the film could easily have been the whole story, but because it’s not it does get treated a bit superficially, which is a shame really. What the movie does do really well is be creepy. I’m sure I aged a few years watching it, which is a somewhat alarming thought. It’s one of the most unsettling films I’ve watched for quite a while.
The soundtrack is unmemorable, yet works well. Job done.
Recommended for dodgy doctors, desperate parents, teachers, photographers and eight-year-olds that want to freak their parents out. And clones of course.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? We all know that a good teacher can change someone’s life, but in this film we also learn that it can literally save your own life too. I sometimes provide training as part of my job and like most things I suck at it. I’ve never managed to impart a single bit of knowledge to anyone and tying to do so has never saved my life or changed anyone else’s for the better. So I guess being a good teacher is badass.
This entry was posted on October 5, 2013 by Cactus. It was filed under The Thoughts of Cactus and was tagged with 2004, American Film, Boy, Cameron Bright, Canada, Clone, Cloning, Decorating, Doctor, Eight Year Old, Godsend, Greg Kinnear, Grief, Hell, Horror, Jean-Paul Sartre, King City, Magnolia, Mark Bomback, Mental Illness, Moving, Nick Hamm, Ontario, Painting, Parents, Photographer, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Robert De Niro, Sci-fi, Science Fiction, Teacher, Thriller, Trailer.