The Godsend (1980)

the godsend poster 1980 movie
4.5 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 7/10

Good creepy kid

Derivative of other evil kid movies

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Godsend

Studio: Cannon

Genre(s): Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s): January 25, 1980

MPAA Rating: R

the godsend angela pleasence cyd hayman malcolm stoddard

Hi…nice to meet you. Care to give birth and leave us your kid?

When a mysterious woman (Angela Pleasence) appears at their cottage, Alan and Kate Marlowe (Malcolm Stoddard and Cyd Hayman) discover her gone after she gives birth to a baby girl.  Adopting the child as their own, Alan and Kate begin to suffer loss.  First their infant child, and then more heartache.  Alan begins to suspect something is wrong with Bonnie (Wilhelmina Green) and that she is a threat to their family.

Directed by Gabrielle Beaumont, The Godsend is a low-budget horror movie.  The movie adapts the Bernard Taylor’s 1976 novel.

After The Exorcist and The Omen, killer kids really took off.  Like The Bad Seed, the suspect is a pretty blonde girl who of course has the evilest of stares…and a cliché bag of ways to off her siblings.

the godsend dont look now malcolm stoddard

This scene is powerful…when first saw it in Don’t Look Now

Where the movie succeeds is the aspect of the cuckoo.  I felt that the movie was not to acknowledge the idea of a cuckoo who lays eggs in a rival bird’s nest and the rival bird is forced to feed and care for this bird that eventually kills off all its own fledglings (known as a brood parasite and cowbirds are notorious for this as well)…fortunately, the movie acknowledged this idea (which is also necessarily since Wilhelmina Green resembles one of the Midwich Cuckoos from John Wyndham’s famous novel which was adapted as Village of the Damned).  I like that Bonnie never demonstrates supernatural abilities though it is implied through claims of great strength by her siblings.

The cast is rather blasé, but does ok for what the movie is.  I like Angela Pleasance’s creepy stranger who I wish was in the film more.  Malcolm Stoddard and Cyd Hayman are average parents in the Gregory Peck and the Lee Remick roles.  I do commend the film for getting a creepy kid in Wilhelmina Green who gives nice soulless stares (though she’s too creepy to not raise suspicions among her parents…even if they are blinded by her being their daughter).

the godsend creepy kid ocean scene

Well, that’s one way to get rid of a kid…

The movie is rather low budget.  Unlike The Omen and The Exorcist which are boosted by great effects in addition to a stronger story, The Godsend has that sleepy, hazy ’70s look to it.  I kind of like that style, but the movie doesn’t have enough “oomph” for it to completely work.

The Godsend is relatively cheap but entertaining if you are a fan of evil kid movies.  The low-budget nature of this movie allows it to slip under the radar of many (myself included), but it is nice to see something that isn’t a straight up remake and “new” from this period of horror which always has its own feel…The Godsend isn’t a godsend, but it isn’t the worst way to spend an afternoon.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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