starring Greg Kinnear, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Robert De Niro, Cameron Bright
screenplay by Mark Bomback
directed by Nick Hamm
by Walter Chaw SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT. Godsend's spine-tingling set-up doesn't just trump its conclusion, it literally beats the hell out of it. The suggestion is that the clone of a dead child begins to have supernatural dreams at the age his host was killed--a premise that fosters consuming dread and marks potentially the best mainstream horror film since The Ring. More, the film's changeling child's dreams remind of the "School of Dead Children" arc from Neil Gaiman's late lamented "Sandman" comic, a connection made resonant by the fact that screenwriter Mark Bomback's next project is the cautiously-awaited adaptation of Garth Ennis's "Hellblazer" title (Constantine). What else to feel than admiration at chilling passages where the shade of the dead child, clad complete in death-day attire of favourite jacket and new sneakers, questions its clone on its identity and on the location of its parents? All that goes out the window, though, in favour of an all-too-familiar Frankensteinian "Abby Normal" brain-transplant-gone-awry intrigue that seems to have been tailor-made for above-the-title player Robert De Niro to have a few inexplicable actor's moments. What results is a complete betrayal of absolutely everything eloquent about the film's pitch--not a twist so much as a cheat of the worst kind, one from an altogether different movie at that: the revelation that the Wizard of Oz is Godzilla.