CLOSER TO GOD

PrintE-mail Written by John Townsend

The well-worn Frankenstein tale is given a modern twist for the digital age in Billy Senese's debut feature Closer to God. Desperate to clone a human, for reasons never fully explained, Victor (Jeremy Childs) ignores the lessons of previous experiments in the pursuit of his goal. Inevitably the past catches up with him.

Senese's film is bleak; very, very bleak. From the washed out grey hues of the colour palette to the disingenuous motives of the protagonists, this is not a film with even a hint of light and joy. There are few if any characters that emerge with any hope of redemption as each one hides a secret of some description, some less clear than others perhaps, but every performance comes with a troubled, haunted look permanently etched across the brow.

The central premise of genetic control is certainly an interesting one, but Senese doesn't really offer anything new on the subject. At times, mainly due to the amount of faux news footage used to add exposition and advance the narrative, the whole thing feels too much like a documentary or dramatic reconstruction. The dialogue, which is as clinical as the surgeon's scrubs, adds to this notion as nothing feels at all natural, with an air of stunted discomfort present in many of the exchanges.

Where Senese does impress, without being entirely successful, is in his Lynchian ambitions with regard to atmosphere. There is a heady weight of portent as Victor tries to ignore the growing menace that is his previous experiment; a boy called Ethan who suffers from serious deformity and uncontrollable bouts of rage. The return and subsequent revenge of the “monster” is predictable but you still feel the oppressiveness of the growing tension, and the violence when it comes is both shocking and brutal.

Whether intentional or not, the anti-cloning message in Closer to God is clear but it is secondary to what is an intense thriller with some genuinely horrific and creepy moments. That it is too close to the Frankenstein story is somewhat to its detriment (irate villagers brandishing iPhones instead of pitchforks anyone?) as there is enough chilling menace in the story to have avoided the unnecessary and unhelpful comparison. Closer to God is an impressive debut that promises much from the writer and director if you can get past that bleakness. After watching you will certainly crave something distinctly fluffier... or perhaps a stiff drink or two.

Special Features: TBC

CLOSER TO GOD / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: BILLY SENESE / STARRING: JEREMY CHILDS, SHELEAN NEWMAN, SHANNON HOPPE, DAVID ALFORD / RELEASE DATE: TBC
 


Suggested Articles:
First broadcast in 1973 as an episode for the long running, German detective series, Tatort (which s
Based on Adelaida García Morales’ short story El sur, this 1983 film version was voted one of the
We’ve always been sceptical of health farms and diet pills, and this obscure little gem from Down
After his mother died, Michael’s dad Roger managed to drink his way out of a job and the pair out
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

DEAD PIGEON ON BEETHOVEN STREET 15 January 2017

EL SUR 15 January 2017

BODY MELT (1993) 12 January 2017

VALLEY OF THE SASQUATCH 12 January 2017

FIRST MEN IN THE MOON 10 January 2017

SAUSAGE PARTY 09 January 2017

HEAD OF THE FAMILY 09 January 2017

CREEPY 09 January 2017

THE GLASS SHIELD (1994) 09 January 2017

BLAIR WITCH 09 January 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner

Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144