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Cuckoo. Not a scary word, is it? It means crazy and/or the sound made by a clock of the same name. Cuckoo. It’s also the name of a bird. A funny name for a funny bird that does a funny thing. Nature can be funny, and by funny I mean brutal and hideous and really nasty.
THE GODSEND was directed by Gabrielle Beaumont (NIGHTMARE CLASSICS [TV], BEASTMASTER III) and written by Olaf Pooley (THE CORPSE, THE JOHNSTOWN MONSTER) and Bernard Taylor. It takes place in the green English countryside. Kate Marlowe (Cyd Hayman: THE HUMAN FACTOR), her husband Allen (Malcolm Stoddard: TREE OF HANDS) and their four children are out for a walk when they meet an odd pregnant woman. She’s wearing a simple dress and looks like a hippie. Kate invites her back to the house for a drink.
The strange woman spooks Allen. She talks in a dreamy, emotionless way and gives vague answers to every question. When asked if this pregnancy will be her first child she says, “I have others.” When asked how many she says, “Quite a few.” When she’s left alone the stranger pulls the phone cord from the wall and then goes into labor. Allen has to go fetch a doctor but by the time he comes back it’s all over. The stranger has had her baby and is still talking in a disconnected, dreamy voice as though nothing odd has happened. She doesn’t want to hold the baby and instead asks for a cigarette.
Of course the next morning the stranger is gone, leaving her newborn daughter behind. You’d think it’d be time to call in the British equivalent of child welfare but no. Kate falls in love with the baby, names her Bonnie, and insists they keep her around.
Everyone is happy about the new addition to the family, but then tragedy strikes when Kate and Allen’s infant son dies mysteriously while sharing a crib with Bonnie. Kate is heartbroken but decides soon after to make their adoption of Bonnie official.
Flash forward a few years. Bonnie (Wilhelmina Green) is about five when the next incident occurs. The family is on one of their frequent nature walks when Bonnie is momentarily left alone with her big brother Davie (Lee Gregory). Bonnie’s screams bring the family running only to find Davie drowned in a nearby creek. Scratches on Bonnie’s arms lead Allen to conclude that Davie was trying to pull her from the water when he himself drowned, thus dying a hero. It’s small consolation for the loss of another child and not even close to what really happened. Bonnie’s other brother Sam is afraid of Bonnie now. He suspects what his parents are still in denial about. The progression here is obvious, but why? Why is Bonnie murdering her siblings? The only way to explain that is with a
Generally the deaths of children are considered taboo in horror movie world but you couldn’t tell this story any other way. Speaking of story, it is a bit plodding as we wait for somebody to realize what’s going on and do something, anything to save the remaining kids.
Many people compare this movie to THE OMEN, even going so far as to call it a rip off. I completely disagree. Just because they both involve an evil child doesn’t mean one was inspired by the other. THE OMEN was satanic fantasy but this is pure sci-fi.
I give it three shriek girls.
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