Splice Review

By Jun 4, 2010 Comment (3)

Splice

Splice is the tale of a mutant creation, the crowning achievement of a pair of romantically linked biochemists (Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley) who clone hybrids of animals with human DNA. The result of their tireless efforts is Dren, a goggle-eyed being who grows to look and act more human over time.

Vincenzo Natali‘s Splice puts the Frankenstein myth into modern terms; why stitch together parts when you can genetically create a whole? A whole what? That’s the question this creepy-sexy horror movie wraps your head around.
Clive (Oscar winner Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) are laid-back biochemists and lovers, cloning two lumpy slugs that secrete enzymes to bolster livestock feed. Hey, it’s a living. The job also gives Elsa a chance to experiment with human DNA in the creatures’ genes, perhaps inventing a cure for cancer…read more [TampaBay]

Natali manages to elegantly weave nearly every aspect of sci-fi, horror, and psychological drama into his latest masterpiece. It’s not just a monster movie, but also one of the best-acted films of this genre I have seen in years and with no cheeky one-liners or grand-standing. Splice boldly explores the God-complex, psychosexual taboos, cruelty, and tenderness in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways. It goes from monster movie to family film when they begin to raise Dren to a horror movie with a twist you never see coming. I didn’t expect it, but there was some very adult material in the film too. Splice cuts into you, leaving a mark- not just because it’s a great flick, but because of its eerie plausibility…read more [Player Affinity]

Delphine Chaneac stars as Dren and Sarah Polley stars as Elsa in Splice
Delphine Chaneac stars as Dren and Sarah Polley stars as Elsa in Splice

“Splice” is a hybrid that works. It’s a smart, slickly paced, well-acted science-fiction cautionary tale-horror movie-psychological drama. In its mix are ethical quandaries in biotechnology, nature versus nurture and an adorable-sexy-disturbing monster. So there’s that. But it wins best in show by focusing on one of the weirder relationship triangles in recent memory.
Elsa (Sarah Polley) and Clive ( Adrien Brody) are brilliant scientists creating genetically modified organisms to harvest proteins that might cure diseases. Their crowning achievement is a pair of multi-animal creations that resemble massive, fleshy worms. When they realize they’re about to lose the chance to pursue their ultimate goal — a human-animal hybrid ( George W. Bush was right!) whose proteins could defeat cancer and other scourges — they rush to finish their work. As Clive says, “What’s the worst that could happen?”…read more [LA Times]

Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody in Splice
Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody in Splice

With seamless special effects, director Vincenzo Natali creates a believable hybrid creature that alternately elicits fear, revulsion and sympathy. But when the creature matures into a bald, dancing teenager with hormones in overdrive, the film devolves into a silly fright-fest with a predictable chase scene conveniently set at a remote farmhouse.
There are plenty of unintentional laughs as the film’s tone morphs as much as the monster at its center. But then switching gears from bio-thriller to steamy sex drama to gruesome horror flick is bound to produce some blowback, as well as an implied sequel…read more [USA Today]

Adrien Brody stars as Clive and Sarah Polley stars as Elsa in Splice
Adrien Brody stars as Clive and Sarah Polley stars as Elsa in Splice

…But although Brody and Polley do their best to sell the increasingly illogical behavior of their characters, Splice grows progressively sillier the older Dren gets, finally resorting to chases in dark woods and sudden gotcha! appearances by a pissed-off mutant, who is none too happy about the corrective behavior her parents have planned for her. The creature effects are terrific, but the human protagonists aren’t nearly so interesting, and the don’t-mess-with-nature message is too hoary to be made interesting with this feeble setup. By the time the film’s climactic 15 minutes rolled around, viewers at a preview were laughing as if they were watching Knocked Up. For a horror picture, such a reaction is the equivalent of a stake through the heart…read more [Miami Herald]

Delphine Chaneac as Dren in Splice
Delphine Chaneac as Dren in Splice

There is a special kind of exhilaration that comes from watching smart
scientists do really dumb things. In the slyly cheesy Splice, a 
pair of married scientists blithely tromp through nature’s domain, 
genetically engineering
a human hybrid with the potential to be Frankenstein’s Monster crossed with 
Rosemary’s Baby.
The movie is ridiculously over the top, inelegant and so defiantly 
crazy
that it works, reminding you how fun gore and creatures that go bump 
(and
 grind) in the night can be. It’s a sci-fi horror film, but no actual 
comedy
has made me laugh as much this year as Splice.
Clive (Adrien Brody — Oscar winner, just in case you forgot) and 
Elsa 
(Sarah Polley, Oscar nominee) are the hot young stars of creepy 
genetic
research. They’ve spliced together various genes, some porcine, and 
grown a
pair of hideous beasts called Fred and Ginger, which look like what 
might
happen if an elephant foot and a free-standing penis could reproduce…read more [Time]

Sarah Polley stars as Elsa in Splice

Bringing Dren to life is not only the most impressive thing Elsa and Clive do – it’s far and away the most impressive thing Splice does. Dren is mostly portrayed by French actor Delphine Chanéac – and she does an excellent job, in fact – but Dren also is a mix of great makeup and extremely believable CGI.
Too bad the story isn’t anywhere near as believable. Natali (who co-wrote and directed the brilliantly original Cube back in 1997) clearly is aping director David Cronenberg – particularly The Fly and The Brood – but where it comes to story and characters, Natali doesn’t have Cronenberg’s chops. Whereas the shocks in Cronenberg’s films tend to be deeply disturbing, most in Splice just come off as outrageous…read more [MovieWeb]

Splice Poster Splice Poster Splice Poster Splice Poster
Splice Posters

Played with black humor that never gets in the way of the horror, Natali’s film cleverly exploits Dren’s uncanny semi-humanity. As a child, she wears a happy expression, but her bald head and the tail poking out beneath her dress give her away. Later, the camera lingers on Chanéac’s supple thighs as they rest atop what looks like the lower legs of a shaved mule. Brody and Polley attempt to protect her from the world, only to watch her turn rebellious and resent them for it…read more [A.V. Club]

Splice Video Review

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHr_AHA8Kg0[/youtube]

What do you think?

Comments (3)

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  • Susan says:

    I don’t understand the horror of genetic human research. I abhore exerimentation on animals. I worked 9 years with a research company that proved that research on animals, even genetically enhanced ones, is cruel and a bloody waste of time that people dying of disease don’t have. Johnsons & Johnsons like people to think that their brutal test on rabbit eyes led to the tear free formula. But they got nowhere in decades. They ended up buying the righst from a Swedish reseacher who never tested on a single animal. I would rather do those barbaric experiments on criminals. Any of you have a problem with replacing the beagle and bunny in skin tests with a pedophile, serial rapist or cop killer?

    Besides I don’t mind getting enhanced with gills or wings. So, what is the big scare? That we become extinct. It’ not like we did a great job being in charge anyway.

  • Susan says:

    I don’t understand the horror of genetic human research. I abhore exerimentation on animals. I worked 9 years with a research company that proved that research on animals, even genetically enhanced ones, is cruel and a bloody waste of time that people dying of disease don’t have. Johnsons & Johnsons like people to think that their brutal test on rabbit eyes led to the tear free formula. But they got nowhere in decades. They ended up buying the righst from a Swedish reseacher who never tested on a single animal. I would rather do those barbaric experiments on criminals. Any of you have a problem with replacing the beagle and bunny in skin tests with a pedophile, serial rapist or cop killer?

    Besides I don’t mind getting enhanced with gills or wings. So, what is the big scare? That we become extinct. It’ not like we did a great job being in charge anyway.

  • Jack Squat says:

    Anyone who has such a skewed opinion of humanity that they desire the extinction of the entire race clearly cannot be taken too seriously. Susan shows us succinctly the depravity of those who advocate untested and potentially fatal and painful experiments on human beings. Such a low opinion of human life, including her own, reveals a deep-seated insecurity and issues with self-identity. Sorry you couldn’t understand the movie. Maybe you should ponder your self worth and try some steak–it’s probably been awhile.

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