The Outing / The Godsend
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An ancient genie is released from a lamp when thieves ransack an old womans house. They are killed and the lamp is sent to a museum to be studied. The curators daughter is soon possessed by the genie and invites her friends to spend the night at the museum, along with some uninvited guests.
When a strange woman has her baby at the Marlowes house, then disappears, Kate Marlowe is forced to keep the baby, Bonnie. She loves the child, but when her own children are systematically killed, suspicion turns to Bonnie.
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I’ve already written about the movies that Shout/Scream Factory has been bringing out on blu-ray format for fans of the VHS films horror fans grew up with from the eighties on. Memories of those movies found on the shelves of mom and pop video stores will always trigger a bit of nostalgia from those fans. But memories can be tricky and misleading. Watching these movies a bit older and wiser now may make them not as great as they once were, but they will indeed trigger those memories of days gone by.
This time around the double bill offered begins with THE OUTING. Here we have an archeologist whose daughter stops by to visit her dad after he’s been busy going through a collection of artifacts taken in when an elderly woman is killed by thieves attempting to steal her treasures. Of course we watched these thieves killed by the genie that was in the lamp she owned.
The archeologist’s daughter gathers her friends to secretly spend the night in the museum he works in. Unaware of exactly what it was that was found, the genie ends up possessing the daughter and mayhem follows as does the body count of anyone in the group or still in the museum. The result is some gruesome gore filled moments for fans of effects and a story and acting that leave much to be desired. It’s not the worst movie ever made but it’s also not one that most will think of as a great example of a horror film. It does make you remember the types of movies that were being released at the time and that’s not always a good thing.
The second film doesn’t get much better, unless you’re a fan of mean or killer children flicks. THE GODSEND involves an English family of six that take in a young baby when their mother gives birth at their home and then disappears. They raise the child as their own but after a time their other children begin to be killed in one way or another. Is this child killing the others to take center stage in the lives of her adoptive parents? Do I really need to ask that question?
The movie has a hazy look to it at times and doesn’t truly offer any chills that I felt while watching. Donald Pleasance’s daughter Angela stars as the strange disappearing mother in the beginning and she has an odd enough look to her that she fits the role perfectly. The young girl who plays Bonnie, the adopted child, has a weird look to her as well but I have no doubt that was intended and done with the way she is shot and made up.
I’ve never been a big fan of movies that use children as the cause of horror with the exception of VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED. About the time this movie came out in 1980 it seems that authors of the time including Stephen King and Saul David were using children as protagonists in nearly all of their books. Over time the fear factor involved in doing so made it less frightening and more boring.
Once again fans of the old VHS shelves of mom and pop stores will want to add this to their collection. So will horror fans willing to add everything ever made. Everyone else might want to pass these by.