Splice, A Review
Directed by: Vincenzo Natali
Starring: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chanéac, Brandon McGibbon, Simona Maicanescu, David Hewlett, Abigail Chu
Rating: R for pervasive strong language, some sexuality and brief drug use.
Genre: SciFi Fantasy
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Runtime: 104 minutes.
Be advised: This attempt at a review contains some spoilers!
Splice was a surprisingly entertaining film even though it was not what I expected it to be. It was cerebral and did not rely on gore and blood to keep you interested. There are scenes with blood and gore but the movie does not rely on those few frames. The director instead uses it to make a point. The scene was foreshadowing a later event that gave relevancy to the entire movie.
When I watched the commercials for Splice I pictured another Species-like film. Splice is a combination of The Fly and Frankenstein. How can someone so supposedly smart be so very very dumb and unethical? Film after film, scientist want to study or save the alien creature that is wreaking havoc on cast members or the entire human race. I guess it is a formula that works so film makers keep using it, but just once I would like to see the scientists ready to kill the alien hell bent on destroying everyone.
I digress because after meeting Dren, (the spliced creation), you don’t want to kill her/it. Or do you?
As the movie progressed and I realized it would not be just like Species I was thinking disappointment. I enjoyed the first Species movie. The counter on the player rolled on and I was more intrigued with the direction the movie was taking. This was more than a science fiction movie and much less than a horror movie. Just like I began to think of Data from Star Trek as “more” than an android, I also began to care about this spliced creation. Dren was pulling at my heart. I did not think of her as human, but indeed an sentient being and not just a lab experiment.
The final one third of Splice is the typical Hollywood ending. Despite the flaws Splice is still more entertaining than the stuff Hollywood pumps out and calls horror. With the stupid and inane remakes (The Day The Earth Stood Still, 2008) and no reason to make sequels (list is far to long to single out one), Splice is like a hot bath at the end of a hard day or a breath of fresh air, so to speak.
Despite not liking the characters played by Adrein Brody and Sarah Polley, the acting was good. Despite not wanting a hybrid species created by mad scientists, I liked Dren and French actress Delphine Chanéac (with no dialogue), was sensitive and endearing. Think of Tom Hanks in Cast Away.
I cannot make promises, but I think if you are a fan of science fiction and sometimes still watch the horrible movies the SyFy channel puts out, you will enjoy Splice.
Verdict: Splice gets 4 stars.
Recommendation: The Hidden is a science fiction thriller starring Kyle MacLachlan from the 80’s that I thoroughly enjoyed. If you like this genre of science fiction and want the action, gore, violence and awful music, this is for you.