Sunday, June 6, 2010


I just saw Splice at my local cinema this afternoon and was surprised by what I saw. Splice tells the story of a married couple of genetic engineers, who are funded by a large pharmaceutical company to use their genetically spliced creatures to develop cures for human disease that will profit their company. After an apparent initial success at splicing various animal's DNA, Clive and Elsa want to now splice human DNA into their newest creation. But when they are denied permission, they do so in secret by themselves. Their experiment, which they name Dren, grows from a small animal into a human-like girl, which Elsa becomes emotionally attached to. Dren's accelerated growth soon has her maturing into a woman and she attempts to escape the confines of the country barn that Clive and Elsa have been hiding her. Even after Elsa determines Dren's dangerous state of mind and forcibly confines her, Dren escapes and begins to seek answers to her needs in the outside world.

I found Splice to be a very disturbing, but thought provoking film. Unlike similar films like Species, Splice lacked much in the way of violent action. However, as a Science Fiction moral drama, Splice delivered a more sophisticated message on the dangers of humans delving into genetic engineering than Jurassic Park. I liked the fact that Splice portrayed the scientists as human beings with emotional motives and needs, that drive them to make decisions that lead them to create Dren. It is a tribute to the writer-director Vincenzo Natali that he didn't just turn Splice into a creature feature, but continued to drive the narrative with character motivations. The scientist couple, as portrayed by Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley, are the focal viewpoint characters and Brody and Polley do a fine job of balancing the intellectual and emotional sides of their characters. There is an interesting conflict of natural verses scientific procreation that takes place in Splice. As a result, several scenes of character's sexual behavior are shown and some of them are quite disconcerting. The only truly gratuitous sex scene is also one of the most disturbing in Splice.  However, it is also the most emotionally dramatic sequence in the film. If you go to see Splice expecting to see an action-filled scary monster movie, then you will be disappointed. This is because Splice is not your typical horror-sf hybrid film, but a thought driven story, and in this film freak's opinion, it is far better for it.

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