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Saturday, July 24, 2010

[8.50/10] Splice (2010)


Splice (2010)

Something fresh, original and exciting is a rare find in the sci-fi/horror genre these days and even more rare is something generally suspenseful and scary. Vincenzo Natali's "Splice" manages to be one of those two and for that reason, it is head above most contemporary horror movies. With his first feature in years, Natali gives us a quite a unique premise about two scientists, Clive and Elsa, who are treated as the superstars of generic engineering. Searching for a hybrid that could take giant leaps in modern medicines, the pair slip into a clandestine experiment that introduces animal DNA with that of a human source. Clive and Elsa introduce into the world Dren, who evolves very rapidly... so fast the situation gets out of control. "Splice"'s functions as a disturbing character driven narrative, with emphasis being put on husband/wife and parent/child relationships. The dynamic between the two characters is made up and established wonderfully, for at least a very good portion of the film. These aren't cardboard cut-outs of bio-chemists, but people we want to root for, or are just interested in how their arcs play out. The film oozes style throughout, from the slick opening credits to the varied soundtrack and every nuance in between. The sexual content is where "Splice" can get a little uncomfortable for some. Visually, Dren is stunning and shocking all in the same and the creators do well to incorporate that into her sexual scenes - dancing the line between tastefully erotic and terrifyingly grotesque. The most interesting thing about "Splice" is that the characters and relationships in the film were far more effectively disturbing than most violence and gore that could have been put on the screen. One could say Polley's performance was a bit flat and sterile, but that's really very much how the character is supposed to be, so I thought she did quite well. Brody's performance wasn't one of his best - he didn't put much heart into his character, and he seemed somewhat distant from what was happening. Special mention should go to Delphine Chaneac, whose first role as Dren is nothing short of incredible! Striking just the right balance between scared animal and curious child, she is so convincing, it's downright scary. That being said, it is the special effects that are the highlight of this film - a subtle mix of CG and practical work, allowing the creature to come to life in several physical incarnations and to evoke a variety of responses. And it's all so effective! Psychologically thrilling, thoughtfully original and terrifyingly disturbing, it would be easy to call "Splice" 'a thinking persons' Sci-Fi movie. With its excellent pacing, fascinating visuals and unique story, "Splice" is a bizarre, yet hauntingly beautiful and quite memorable film experience.

  • My Rating: 8.50/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 75% (6.7/10)
  • IMDb: 6.7/10

8 comments:

Jaccstev said...

The movie was OK. I wasn’t impressed at all. Toddler Dren also looked like something out of Hellboy or Pan's labyrinth.

Nebular said...

I totally loved it and I thought it's much more than just a regular sci-fi/horror flick. It concerns male's 'blind' lust and women's obsession with motherhood and their fears of it.
Dren looked fantastic!

Ricky said...

I must try to catch this one.

Nebular said...

Yes, Ricky, you should watch this one, but keep in mind that "Splice" is love it or hate it material. You might be disappointed.

Sadako said...

Nice review. I've been meaning to watch Splice (esp. after R.L. Stine tweeted about it!) so now I definitely will. You're right that fresh in this genre is hard to find!

Nebular said...

Thanks, Sadako. Glad you liked my review :) I really don't get why so many people hated "Splice". I thought it was a sci-fi/horror with a brain. Can't wait for your thoughts on it. :)

P.S. Is your nickname inspired by character Sadako from "Ringu"? :)

MJ said...

You were quite generous with this one. I thought it was kind of a mess, but still had fun moments.

Nebular said...

I didn't find anything messy about it. At all. I thought it was unique and well-executed sci-fi horror that was unfortunately a bit overlooked. It's not always about fun, buddy :)