I thought "Godsend" was going to be a science fiction thriller along the lines of Gattacca. I thought it might even be sort of a hybrid of "Gatticca" and "A.I." The "Gattacca" angle would deal with the ethical issues surrounding the manipulation of genetics to suit our own desires. The "A.I." angle would come into play because the couple is trying to REPLACE their dead son. This issue was explored far too briefly in "A.I." partly because the son was able to come back to life. Plus, "A.I." had many more issues to tackle because the child was non-human: the hazards of unconditional love, what we as humans owe to what we create, issues of man vs. machine, obseletism, etc. etc. etc. "Godsend" on the other hand deals only with humans, and some interesting issues are raised but never resolved, in favor of being just another evil child horror film. The first of these intriguing issues is one that has been raised countless times, which has a larger role in determining who we are, nature or nurture? The second is the far-fetched but no less interesting concept of cellular memory. The third question raised is what would happen if the replacement discovered he was only a replacement? Adam, (the clone) stumbles upon pictures of the other Adam but the need to explain the photos is forgotten as the clone once again succumbs to homicidal urges. The issue of destiny is also explored briefly, (the new Adam has many close calls with automobiles, the instrument of the previous Adam's demise.)
OK, I know some of you are saying, "Once you found out it was a horror film why didn't you just stay home? It's not the film's fault it wasn't what you wanted." To that I say, if it had to be horror, is it too much to ask that it be good horror? The film is purely a collection of scenes designed to make you jump, and I have to say that most of them accomplished that goal. Yet, I have cerebral palsy, which means along with many other nasty things, nature has cursed me with a hair-trigger startle reflex, and even with that working in the film's favor some of the "startle scenes" failed to hit their mark. This alone is testament to the film's gross inadequacy. And lets not forget the horrible writing and acting. If I had parents that said those cutesy-poo things to me, I would have thrown myself in front of that car on purpose. There was once a time when I would have asked, "what's DeNiro doing here?" but by now he should feel right at home.
The only thing Godsent about "Godsend" is the ending, by which I mean it has one.