Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Splice" Movie Review


Cast: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley

Writers: Doug Taylor, Antoinette Terry Bryant, and Vincenzo Natali

Director: Vincenzo Natali.

***’s out of four

(Photo: Warner Bros Pictures)

  Horror films for the past few years have either been, Jump out and scare you (Paranormal Activity), bring on the gore(Saw 6) or a remake(Nightmare on Elm Street) It’s rare that a horror movie will leave you feeling disturbed after watching it or have you question your own moral ethics. “Splice” is a fresh take on the subject of genetic engineering. Where its creators are not quite the evil scientists and the monster’s action is somewhat justifiable.

  “Splice” is about two genetic scientists Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley) and Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody) who are at work developing new protein strands by splicing a bunch of different animal genes together. When Elsa decides to add human DNA to the mix, a new life form is created. They decided to name it Dren (That’s right. It’s Nerd spelled backwards). It 1st appears as a kangaroo rat hybrid but as time goes on it becomes more and more human. When the scientists notice the change they begin treating it as something human (Elsa begins dressing it in girl clothes) but they also have to hide it from everyone else too. Dren becomes more and more agitated at the way she is being treated and wants nothing more than to escape.  The two scientists become more and more frustrated at their creation by not being able to control it like they do so many other experiments.  They have also started  developing feelings for it too.

(Photo: Warner Bros Pictures)

  This movie could have easily gone the route as so many movies do and just have the creature escape and go on a mad killing spree, but filmmaker Vincent Natali and his screenwriters are smarter than that. They treat the lab creation as much a victim who is just lashing out at the abuse she has endured from the two scientists who in their minds were just trying to protect her from being hurt by others if she was caught. There are moments near the end that are pretty disturbing so if you were thinking of bringing the kids along, leave them at home. The movie does have a few quick gory moments and scares but this is more of a psychological drama that asks the question. Do our natural instincts make us human or is it our moral ethics.

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