Splice

20 Jul

Title: Splice
Year: 2010
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Writers: Vincenzo Natali, Doug Taylor and Antoinette Terry Bryant, based on the story by Vincenzo Natali and Antoinette Terry Bryant
Starring: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chanéac
MPAA Rating: R, disturbing elements including some strong sexuality, nudity, sci-fi violence and language
Runtime: 104 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 6.8
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%

I liked Splice quite a lot, I liked Splice because I like weird sci-fi stuff done right, and I liked it even more because weird sci-fi stuff is something that isn’t being done right as often as it should be, and you gotta give a commendation when it’s due. Sure, the premise is better than the result, but that’s usually the case for sci-fi thriller/horror films like this one, but at least Splice is still a really smart film and the three main performances I found to be pretty great, this is a film I would seriously recommend to fellow admirers of the genre.

I’ll start by mentioning a bit of trivia y’all film buffs out there might have also caught and enjoyed when you saw this, two of the main characters are named Clive and Elsa, and if you like this sort of film then you obviously love The Bride of Frankenstein, and the actors who starred in that one were Colin Clive and Elsa Lanchester, so yeah, the name referencing was, I thought, a pretty smart nod to a film that definitely influenced this one. Another clear influence on Vincenzo Natali was David Cronenberg, it has the same sort of vibe, weird and peculiar and deeply interesting, this is a seriously intelligent and provocative thriller that fans of this genre will devour.

The film sees two researchers inserting human DNA into a cloning experiment and as a result get Dren, which is the fascinating creature that borders between monster and human that you may have seen in the advertisements for the film, it all gets smart after that, there is real scientific stuff here which adds to the atmosphere Mr. Natali and his cast have created. Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley, a favorite of mine, are Clive and Elsa, the scientists and lovers who create Dren, they do so after they create this new animal gene and, since the corporation couldn’t afford more funding for further research at the time, Elsa inserts the human DNA on her own.

I like Dren, I thought she – or, well, it – looked great and I love the process of evolution it undertook, how it grew more and more from an animal into a humanoid form, how it became intelligent, and how it formed the more grown Dren, who was played by Delphine Chanéac, and, weird as it is to say, there was something attractive about Dren in that stage, though that’s all to the credit of Ms. Chanéac. And when we get Dren in these stages a lot unfolds and the films serves as commentary about modern science as well as how this creation affects the psychology of Elsa and Clive, who start behaving as parents to Dren. And while I really really liked all of this, I think the one step this film could have taken that would have made it superior would have been to stop caring that much for a second about the feelings of Elsa and Clive and instead focus on the mentality of Dren, surely it would have been a more difficult task to do properly, but I think is what would have made this one fire on all cylinders, but whatever the case may be this is still a really nicely done film, the ending may be predictable, but the ride there is one I found to be exquisite.

Grade: B+

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