- X 2019
Closer to God
Billy Senese, Jeremy Childs, Jonathan Rogers, Jennifer Spriggs, Erika Senese (executive) for LC Pictures
directed by Billy Senese
starring Jeremy Childs, Shelean Newman, Shannon Hoppe, David Alford, Isaac Disney, Olivia Lyle, Jake Specki, Emily Landham, Josh Graham, John Schuck, Joshua Childs, Piper Hoppe, Anna Garges, Jeff Lewis, Skye Arnold, Flint Adam, Samantha Fisher, Cris Cunningham, Jeff Boyet, Matthew Carlton, Janet Duensing, Dean Hall, Jon Royal, May Hwen, Andy Kanies, Charity Spencer, Felix Eckhardt, Erin Ramsey, Sasha McVeigh, Linda McVeigh, Levi Montgomery, Travis J. Cole
written by Billy Senese, music by Thomas Nöla, special effects by Doug Mallette, Daryl Stamps, visual effects by Scott Brooks
For the first time in history, Dr Reed (Jeremy Childs) and his team
have cloned a human, Elizabeth (Olivia Lyle) - and due to a leak, they
have announce it publicly prematurely. Of course, that creates a massive
uproar - the silent majority is atainst it because of the sounds of it
rather than giving the whole affair a good think-over, a loud minority
listens to (often religious) hatemongers and pickets Reed's lab, and
chronically underinformed politicians cowardly follow public opinion
instead of leading it ...
That's not to say Dr Reed is a saint by a
longshot, his experiments aren't exactly legal, there are huge risks
involved, and over the importance of his research he has pretty much
neglected his wife (Shannon Hoppe) and kids. Plus he has a very dark
secret called Ethan (Isaac Disney), the result of a former cloning
experiment that hasn't turned out quite as fortunate - but he has still
left in the care of his housekeepers (Shelean Newman, David Alford).
the protesting crowd in front of the hospital Elizabeth is treated at is
growing too large and rowdy, so Dr Reed takes her home in secret - but one
of his staff passes the info on to the press, and suddenly Dr Reed sees
his own premises surrounded, plus the mayor has caved in to peer pressure
and orders a full-scale investigation - which almost certainly won't come
up with positive results. And then there's Ethan, who has over the years
turned into a malformed lethal monster - and now he has finally escaped
his cage to go on a rampage ...
Now there are no two ways about
it, some of Closer to God resembles the classic baby-shocker It's
Alive, and not only in writing, but taking everything into
account, the film is actually closer (at least in premise) to Mary W.
- so much so that most of the key characters first names are lifted from
that novel -, and what the movie does have in common with Larry Cohen's
oeuvre in large actually is its political commentary and refusal to find
easy answers to complicated topics, which is only commendable.
its own terms, Closer to God is very slow-burn when it comes to
build-up, leaves many plot threads in the dark for the viewers to come to
their own conclusions, and there aren't all that many setpieces until the
finale, the audience is rather kept in suspense by events hinted at,
disturbing snippets (both on the visual and the audio side) that only make
sense late in the movie, and the pacing is deliberately relaxed, not only
compared to other horror movies of its time - and all of this actually
works for the movie as it largely appeals to the audiences intelligence
rather than hormones and asks questions it refuses to answer conclusively
- and that, above all else, is the true strength of this movie ...