The trials of parenthood are at the forefront of this murky horror effort that recalls 1970s child-possession hits like AUDREY ROSE ('77) and The EXORCIST ('73). Inner-city school teacher Paul (Greg Kinnear) and his wife Jessica (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) are distraught after losing their eight-year-old son David (Cameron Bright) in an accident. At the funeral, Jessica's old science professor Dr. Wells (Robert Deniro) offers them a chance to rebuild their lives: a mansion in the country near his DNA clinic, a private school teaching job for Paul, and an exact clone of their dead son. Sworn to secrecy and facing all sorts of moral issues, the grief-stricken couple accepts Wells' offer. All goes well until the new David passes the age he previously died, then comes ghostly visions of burning children, and premonitions of murder. A creepily unobtrusive score and the film's drab look help maintain a welcome low-key, character-driven mood here, with the result that GODSEND works both as a standard horror film and a darkly psychological meditation on the uncertainty, misgivings, and sheer terror involved with child rearing. Deniro is great, as usual, and the gorgeous Romijn-Stamos proves herself adept in an unglamorous, tensely dramatic change-of-pace role as the split-apart mother.
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