Closer to God (2015)

xudXPZWhen Dr Victor Reid (Jeremy Childs) creates the first cloned human baby he also creates a whole bunch of trouble. The authorities naturally want to examine baby Elizabeth, the media are thrown into a feeding frenzy and of course all the religious crazies crawl out of the woodwork determined to see Reid condemned to Hell for subverting God’s will.

Modern day Dr Frankenstein Jeremy Childs

Modern day Dr Frankenstein Jeremy Childs

When the state authorities go to the courts to get access to the baby Reid moves the child to his palatial out-of-state home, however this is where we discover that Reid’s PR people have not exactly been completely honest. Locked up in the servant’s quarters is Ethan the result of a previous attempt at cloning. And Ethan’s not a happy well-balanced boy at all.

So with the house under siege from religious nutters Ethan breaks loose. Bet you didn’t see that coming.

Baby Elizabeth, the blob on the head is never explained

Baby Elizabeth, the blob on the head is never explained

Essentially this is a modern-day Frankenstein and presents a set of similar moral questions about the creation of life by scientists as Mary Shelley”s novel did back in the early 1800s, although of course we are now probably much closer to being able to clone human beings that Shelley’s creation was to reanimating a patchwork corpse. The main problem with Closer to God is that it is a bit of a patchwork film. It starts well as piece of high-minded science fiction, but then twists into a kind of Jane Eyre/Psycho melodrama to  conclude. It’s as if the production team got half way through the script and then thought ‘hang on where’s the monster? can’t be the baby, she’s too little, how about one Reid made earlier?’

To be fair once we get into the melodrama it is well handled, with nice use of dark and shadows to get the imagination going and just about the right amount of blood and violence. ,However despite the film’s short running time of one hour twenty, I could not help but think it would have been a lot more effective as a chiller if it had been more ruthlessly edited.

A competent but predictable mad science chiller that does pose some interesting moral and philosophical questions, I give Closer to God a 444/666

Closer to God is released theatrically in the United States and on demand from iNDEMAND, Vubiquity, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Google Play and Xbox on 3 July

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