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Playing God

Closer to God Review

The moral conundrum and theological implications of cloning have long led the discussion over the potential benefits of such science. In Closer to God, the director uses "science gone wrong" to tackle this topic. But as the moral wrestling match ensues, the "winner" is as ambiguous as the moral lesson.

As horror movies often do with great acclaim, Closer to God focuses on the negative aspects of every perspective surrounding cloning. By this approach, the director was able to establish balance, but by that end the point seems gray and despondent.

Our protagonist, the lead scientist on the cloning project, houses many demons, but he remains sympathetic throughout because of his open heart and quiet demeanor. His reluctance to react aggressively in any situation, his openness to express guilt, and his admittence of his own unsure sense of right and wrong in the situation makes it easy to feel for him while deciding whether the acts committed are vile.

Of course, the most obvious "demon" the protagonist faces is that of his first "failed" cloning creation. Needless to say, the experiment did not go well, but rather than die of "natural" causes, the child lived on, growing at a rapid rate, but retaining some level of feral and aggressive behavior. When the child gets loose, our protagonist must make quick and morbid decisions in attempts to preserve himself, his family, his future, and his reputation.

I'll continue the ambiguity here without giving away any specifics of the ending, but it was a rather disheartening and saddening conclusion. Because of this emotionally charged ending, you are left to ponder the implications that were presented. You never get a definitive answer to right or wrong on the topic, which does make it feel cowardly, but at the same time we probably shouldn't be taking our moral stances from horror movies anyways.

As horror commentaries go, this film wasn't bad. The low budget was apparent, but not evident. The acting, particularly from the lead and his immediate co-stars, was quite good. The effects were limited, but the camera work helped keep a reasonable amount of suspense despite the lack of originality in the "creature" design. It wasn't overly special, but it wasn't as dismissive as I'd originally predicted.

Horror Qualifier: 6/10

Horror Quality: 4/10

Film Quality: 5/10

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