Thursday, December 16, 2010


or: The most stuffed up movie I have ever seen.

One word to sum it up: Weird.

Even though we were somewhat promised a cinema release on Splice, this sci-fi horror somehow wound up in our preview drawer ahead of it's DVD release next month. Now I see why the movie Gods didn't quite trust this film to get on our big screens. No, it's not bad...I kinda liked it. But it's just so strange and stuffed up that our audiences would probably get a little freaked by it. I saw this about five days ago, and I'm still not happy with the rating I have given it. In some ways, it's a load of garbage, but in other ways, it's a great piece of modern cinema at it's best.

Two young rebellious scientists, Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley), are told by their employers to halt groundbreaking work that has seen them produce new creatures with medical benefits by splicing together multiple organisms' DNA. They decide to secretly continue their work, but this time splicing in human DNA. Their work results in a new creature, Dren (Delphine Chaneac), who appears to be just like a human (with some differences) at first. As she grows, she starts becoming trouble, and Clive and Elsa discover that Dren is the harmless creature they thought she would be.

As I said, I'm torn between good and bad when it comes to Splice. Let's start with the good things this movie has to offer. Splice is a fantastic sci-fi, but also a great horror, which provides more thrills then we have been seeing in the latest 'B-grade horror trend'. The premise is not only intriguing, but particularly relevant these days due to scientists trying to do this kind of thing. Fortunately, Splice doesn't suffer from the Hollywood syndrome, where they take a perfectly possible storyline, dumb it down to the lowest common denominator, and make it totally unbelivable. Splice, instead, takes a very realistic look at genetic engineering, which is quite believable and isn't bogged down by silly special effects. Another thing that Splice has over similar sci-fi's is the impeccable performances from Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley as the 'rock star' scientists.

The flaws that this movie carries also have something to do with one of it's best assets. Blended into the storyline is a theme of growing up and teen angst, which comes in the form of Dren. As she grows up, we start witnessing her confusion over certain things, which contributes to the strangeness of this film. While that theme is so cleverly great, the way it is executed just led me to think 'WTF?!'...several times. In it's final act, Splice loses itself because I couldn't tell whether I should take the movie seriously or not. Either way you look at it, it's hard to take something out of what it is trying to say, and ends up becoming laughable for all the wrong reasons. I have come to the conclusion that Splice was a very good film, up until it became confused with what it wanted to be: a clever sci-fi horror or just another generic horror.

THE VERDICT: Could have been better, and could have taken itself a bit more seriously. However, the premise behind Splice is great, which makes up for most of the film's flaws.


1 comment:

  1. Because of the writers' choice to stay so superficial, we get a sluggishly-paced, forgettable thriller.


You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


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