Godsend [2004]

While it preys on the emotions of grieving parents, Godsend serves up a few minor shocks in an otherwise frightless supernatural thriller. Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos are the once-happy couple whose 8-year-old son (Cameron Bright) has been struck and killed by a car. When a fertility and genetics expert (Robert De Niro) offers them an opportunity to resurrect their boy through a secret, illegal cloning procedure, they don't know that the doctor's hidden agenda will have horrifying repercussions when the "new" son passes his eighth birthday and begins having "night terrors" about another boy who'd suffered a similarly unfortunate fate. Any casual viewer will catch the plot twist early, after which Godsend presses its flimsy premise past the breaking point. There are some eerie moments involving the kid (and Bright has effectively disturbing presence), but wretched dialogue and derivative plotting undermine the talented leads, all of whom seem to be slumming in the B-movie cellar. --Jeff Shannon

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