Continuing with Film 4’s Fright Fest Season, Splice is Warner Bros. visual warning as to why we shouldn’t mess with the forces of Mother Nature.
This Sci-Fi horror follows the story of a pair of genetic engineers who work on splicing a wide range of different animal DNA together to create their own hybrid for medical use (and to prove that it is possible to do so). However, without consultation, Elsa (Sarah Polley) decides to also splice human DNA into the mixture… Can you see where this is going? The “thing” happens to be born and partner Clive (Adrien Brody) is oblivious to Elsa’s secret to who’s human DNA was used. As it is an experiment, Clive is willing to try to kill the mutant. With too much maternal and emotional connection to the creation, Elsa forces Clive to agree on letting it live, where evidentially the film begins.
It must be said that the whole idea of the film sounded quite creepy, however the baby version of Dren (yes they gave it a name) is actually quite cute, although she has a tail with a stinger, legs that bend like an animal and eyes far apart that the distance just seem uncomfortable. As she gets older and smarter, she actually grows into quite a dashing young lady (with the exception of these animalistic features).
The story does take an interesting turn and turns everything we’ve learnt from the first half of the movie literally upside down. Director Vincenzo Natali consistently mixes the batch of sympathy we have for each character, switching the arrow at every turn and while Dren may be the victim, she slowly becomes the villain. But the film does keep you in the loop that they created Dren, so why should you have any sympathy towards their naivety? Especially in the scene when Clive’s dislike for the creature unintentionally develops into an awkward sexual attraction. He obviously can’t make up his mind whether he’s the hitman or the father or the lover. This definitely pushes the story into another direction to correlate with the end, but it just feels morally wrong in every way possible making the film even freakier than what is on the cover. The whole film is the definition of Taboo.
Unfortunately, the main downfall for the film was the ending. Although it leaves us room for a sequel, the finale beforehand felt quite rushed, even though it was creepy. You sit through a weird yet interesting plot, to walk into a bit of a weak ending. On the other hand, the high point was definitely the creation of Dren. Her character looks awesome and the imagination of what something like her would look like is very intriguing. It’s quite believable if you put your mind to it, plus the CGI was really good. It’ll be very interesting to watch a “The making of Dren” featurette which should hopefully be on the Blu ray or DVD.
Excluding the unfortunate ending/finale, Splice is quite the Sci-Fi horror that will keep you interested. It really does deserve a more glorious ending, but hey, we can’t always win both ways.
3 out of 4 stars
For a line up of what else is on Film 4’s Fright Fest Season, visit the link below…