Splice (2009)




It was really weird watching this after so long, but Splice came on TV around the time I was getting dinner ready and so I had to stay and watch it all the way through. Because… you know there is so much I don’t like about the movie but it’s sadly quite watchable.

Two amazing biology hipsters Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) manage to splice lifeforms together to not only make new creatures who synthesize shit that some coporation want, but in secret they want to take things a step further but end up taking things a step too far and create Dren (Delphine Chaneac) a hybrid between a host of creatures with the addition of human DNA. Elsa welcomes Dren into the world and mothers her through her rapid growth and imminent decline, but the faster she evolves, the more her creators start to realise that they may have made a catastrophic mistake.

It’s an interesting plot and one which you’d expect a lot of icky bodily fluids, an extremely bizarre creature with even MORE messy scenes, but really it slides from science into a what not to do style parenting class. It turns into a moralistic drama after the sci fi bits that only really happen in the beginning, they have to move baby Dren (whose name is Nerd spelt backwards) from the high tech lab and into the family’s old barn situated in the middle of nowhere and things become more Mommie Dearest (1981).

Sarah Polley has the best resting bitch face and is perfect for this crazy science momma part, from the start she’s a woman who does exactly what she wants, Clive (Brody) is not just a lover but a pawn for her as she implements the experiment, he’s a constant sound of sense and reason what gets blocked out as she descends into controlling madness.

The GC work looks a little dank, it’s the problem I have with organic things, they tend to look a bit shit when CG’d, Dren stars out a vole like creature, and morphs into a more human character, and while the interactions with this “creature” are marvelous, eye contact is on and it looks very real the creature itself doesn’t. The creation of Dren is very imaginative and she comes across as being this alien syren almost, comfortable in all environments, breaths underwater and has signs of flight. The creepy aspect of her makeup are those epic legs, they fold backward and were executed in a skillful way, but I can imagine it gave the effects team a proper headache.

This horror sci fi entertains and tries to open the audience to the daunting possibilities of genetic manipulation.

At first I was a little surprised about how fast the film lose it’s Science Fiction direction but coming from Vincenzo Natali who is responsible for the Cube (1998), it starts to make sense. He seems very comfortable to paint a futuristic scene then totally forget it and focuses in on the people and events rather than dazzling his audience with “neat” stuff.

The film develops from a creature feature into a family horror drama, the couple’s relationship breaks down, the effects of an estranged mother and Clive’s brother Gavin (Brandon McGibbon) gets involved as Dren desire to be free starts to wreck the calm atmosphere, which isn’t unusual for these hybrid movies, they do tend to get very emotional like The Fly (1986) and the film starts to mimic Species (1995).

Don’t’ get me wrong it’s still a viable movie, there is tension and great acting, it goes from torrid science experiment to dark sexual nightmare, and I really do like watching it it’s consistently fluid and stumbles over many questions about genetics and man acting out the role of god, but it could have been much more. It’s pretty solid with only a few goofs here and there, the promise behind it is incredible and sequels very possible, there’s some interesting musical tracks from all different styles plotted around the movie, industrial, metal and jazz, and it does itself some justice by not taking itself too seriously.

Rating 6/10

RThe Thing (1982), The Fly (1986), Species (1995)
L – 15 Awesome Hybrids, Biological Sci Fi Flicks,
A – Life cycles in movies, why so fast?
5BSarah Polley, Adrien Brody,
Vs – Dren Vs Sil

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