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Thursday, June 3, 2010

SPLICE REVIEW



   Sometimes you see a movie and say “ohhh, that was just not right.” Other times you say, “man that was messed up!” You may even say, “Did that really just happen?” How about saying something like, “that was disgusting?” Maybe “how disturbing was that?” Well, I would say you could pick any of those phrases to describe what happened in this movie.
  The movie began as Elsa and Clive watched one of their latest creations come to life. They had just successfully created a creature named Fred, to be a partner for their other creature named Ginger. Elsa and Clive were scientists, who were splicing DNA, with hopes of one day eventually curing diseases. However, the biotech company they worked for had other plans. They were more interested in a certain protein that could be found in Fred and Ginger, and they wanted to mass-produce it. Of course, the two scientists couldn’t help themselves, and had to continue experimenting on their own. All that experimenting led to the creation of Dren, which was when all the fun began.
  Before I get into all the fun, let me get the customary political, moral, and ethical conversation this subject matter brings up out of the way. Some people will use this movie to further their argument about why we should not mess around with DNA. Hell, after seeing this movie, they may have a point. Then, there is the other side like curing diseases, and prolonging life. Really, it is a win-lose situation, and I don’t want to hear all the blah blah blah about this. There are more disturbing things that happened in this movie for everyone to talk about.
  I am not really the scientific kind of person. I couldn’t tell you if this could happen or not, so I am not going to complain about it. This was a sci-fi movie, and I will accept the hybrid, spliced DNA creature that they presented us. Actually, the creature, Dren, was the movie. I found myself fascinated as it started to grow, and change. You could see the human characteristics of it, but it was the nonhuman characteristics that obviously made it unique. It started off looking like some crazy featherless chicken. After it grew a little, it still looked like a featherless chicken, but now with a beaver or rabbit’s face. You can take your own guess at what it looked like at first. Trust me, it got a lot more interesting looking later on.
  As Dren quickly grew to adult size, it began to look somewhat more human, but not quite all the way there. It had a large baldhead with a line down the middle. It had small ears, bright eyes, hands with 3 fingers and a thumb, but still had these long chicken like legs. Unique to it, it also had a tail that when threatened, had a stinger pop out of it. It quickly started to learn, but could not speak. Instead, it continued to make some kind of clicking sound. Dren really turned out to be an interesting mix of human, and God knows what DNA. It did things I didn’t expect when going to see this movie, including its last step in its evolution.
  One of the problems Dren had was the constant battle between its human and nonhuman characteristics. Really, it was an animal with human emotions. It learned how to spell, drew pictures, and took in a pet cat. On the other hand, it constantly got angry, refused to do what it was told, and even ran out into the forest to get its own dinner. During another part of the movie, it threw a tantrum, and wanted to go outside again. Since Elsa and Clive weren’t supposed to have created it in the first place, they had it hidden throughout the entire movie. Well, this scene produced one of several surprise characteristics that Dren possessed (you will just have to watch and see for yourself). 
  It didn’t help Dren that the two people, who seemed like normal scientists, turned out to have issues of their own. These issues became apparent as they went from scientists to parents. Elsa seemed like she always wanted a child of her own, and now she had one. The problem was that Elsa had issues with her mom when she was growing up. At certain points of the movie, you could see her fight not to treat Dren the way her mom treated her. As for Clive, one of his issues was that he could complain, and fight Elsa all he wanted, but he could never stop her from doing what she wanted. That was what really got them in this whole mess. She was the one that really wanted to go ahead with the experiment, but he thought it was a bad idea from the start. It was interesting how at different parts of the movie, they played good scientist (parent), bad scientist (parent). They both took turns playing these roles. Oh, and if you were wondering what other issues Clive had, again you will just have to see for yourself.
  After the midway point of the movie had passed, I was thinking to myself “isn’t anyone going to die” (yes, leave it to me to always wait for someone to die). I know that there was no serial killer in this movie, but I thought maybe this creature would eventually be killing people. Without a doubt, Dren was an interesting creature, but it came up short in the killing department. Really, most of the scenes without Dren in it were not that exciting besides some light humor here and there. The disturbing scenes in the movie more than made up for this though. Oh, and lets not forget Dren’s somewhat relatives Fred and Ginger. They had some good moments in the brief time we saw them, including their first couple’s spat. Let me just say they put on a show at a convention that may even top anything Steve Jobs could show us.
  Oh, did I forget to tell you why you would say things such as, “that was just not right,” or “man that was messed up?” You didn’t think I was going to give it away did you? I would have had to put up a spoiler alert, and I wasn’t going to do that to you. I had to witness that without knowing what was going to happen, and hopefully no one will spoil it for you. You will probably say, “what the f***,” and I mean what the f***. After you see it, let me know, and we can talk about it then. If I rated the movie on shock value, I would give it 5 pools of blood, but overall I give the movie 2 pools of blood.

  HorrO
 
  

8 comments:

  1. Looking forward to this one! Though it looks like its extremely similar to filmsl like Species and The Fly II.

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  2. Film Conn.: good to hear from you as always. Yea, it is similar to both those movies, but has enough to stand on its own. Dren is an interesting creature to say the least.

    Sarah: Trust me, the cover is not the freaky part!

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  3. I just saw Splice this afternoon and found it more disturbing than frightening. I agree that the film lacked much in the way of violent action except towards the end. However, as a Science Fiction moral drama, Splice delivered a more sophisticated message on the dangers of humans delving into genetic engineering than most of Michael Chrichton's anti-science novels. 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 and director that they didn't just turn Splice into a creature feature, but continued to drive the narrative with character motivations. The only gratuitous scene is also one of its most disturbing, yet emotionally dramatic. Splice is not a typical horror-sf hybrid film and is better for it.

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  4. Fritz: I have heard some people say this was a new and original film, and others compare it to movies like Species, and even Frankenstein. Really, it is a little of both depending on how you look at it. You mentioned, "they didn't just turn Splice into a creature feature," which was fine except that is what I took it to be from the previews, and was why I was disappointed with the level of kills in the movie. If I expected it to be more drama, and message driven, may be I would have thought differently about the movie from the beginning. I'm sure this will be the first of many more cloning movies now.

    What I Say Matters: Gross, yea can't disagree with that!!!

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  5. HorrO, I agree with you that Splice was misrepresented as a horror sci-fi mash-up in the trailer. Had it been shown in the trailer to be the sci-fi morality play that it was, horror fans like you and I wouldn't have likely seen it in the theater. I do like the occationaly sf drama - a good example of that being last year's Moon - so I ended up apreciating Splice for what it was, despite being somewhat let down by its dearth of horrific elemnets.

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  6. Fritz: Totally agree. I know they had to market the movie that way. If not, it would have made even less money. That is why sometimes I prefer not to see previews. They get you thinking one thing, and when the movie goes a different direction, it can play with your feelings about the film. Even though I didn't give the movie a great rating, I do think it is a movie everyone should see. Dren is too interesting a character. Plus it is great to see people's reaction to the messed up parts!!!

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