REVIEW: Splice (2010)

Elsa and Clive, two young rebellious scientists, defy legal and ethical boundaries and forge ahead with a dangerous experiment: splicing together human and animal DNA to create a new organism. Named “Dren”, the creature rapidly develops from a deformed female infant into a beautiful but dangerous winged human-chimera, who forges a bond with both of her creators – only to have that bond turn deadly.


I saw Splice last night in theaters, and I walked into the theater so excited for what I was hoping would be a creative and creepy film. This review’s going to be tough because Splice is a very difficult movie to explain, let alone judge. But I’m going to try to put it into words without giving anything away.

The movie opens with Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody) and Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley), along with their colleagues, raving over a new creation–pretty much a giant slug that had been created by splicing together many different animal DNA’s. After the slug is shown and you’ve had almost a second of thinking that this was going to be how the “girl” in the trailers starts out, they introduce this male that they name Fred after arguing over what name to pick to a female that they had already created named Ginger. It goes on talking about these creations until Clive and Elsa are told that they are no longer to experiment slicing (after presenting the idea of mixing animal and human DNA to their bosses). This makes them unhappy, so Elsa basically decides to go ahead and do it all anyway. And this starts a whole world of trouble, obviously.

I started out in the beginning of the movie thinking “Wow, this is cool!” and things like that. The acting is decent; I guess it’s actually phenomenal for a horror film, but really it’s just decent…with the exception of the girl who plays Dren (Delphine Chanéac). Though she doesn’t speak, she has to show emotion with no words and be creepy and weird at the same time, and she masters it throughout MOST of the movie. She’s really amazing as a weird animal/human creation. She turns her head around and makes this weird trill noise that I’m sure it’s not really her making it but it’s something like what a lizard does when interested in something. While she’s acting in this role, I was actually really creeped out by her, which is what makes it good because she manages to show that she is almost human with her changing emotions without seeming too normal. Other than that, I wasn’t too impressed with anybody’s acting, though Adrien Brody played his character alright.

The effects and CGI are really good. They make everything look realistic, like it’s something that actually exists. From the moment that Dren is “born” to her adulthood. She is created to look weird but also like she COULD be kind of pretty. I really like the way all the creations are made to look in the movie, and they’re really my favorite part of the whole thing. If it weren’t for the creepiness of Dren and the good CGI, it might not have even kept me through the first half hour.

I like the way Dren moves. Her movements are just brilliant. They’re animalistic, which compliments the human characteristics wonderfully. She walks like a chicken and moves her head like a lizard, and while being strange, it also demonstrates that she’s such a broad mixture of creatures.

As far as the story and writing go, everything starts out really endearing and interesting. It’s creative and makes you want to keep watching. The writing isn’t anything special, but it’s pretty good. The dialogue is decent at least. As the movie progresses, though, it starts to lose itself. The scenes get silly and everyone in the theater was laughing at parts that weren’t supposed to be funny. There are sex scenes in it that are wrong in so many ways that it crosses lines. And on top of all that (the movie lost me about an hour in to weirdness and stupidity), the ending is terrible. I won’t go as far as to say what happens, but it’s really expected and just uncreative. It goes from being this really interesting, semi-creepy thriller/horror movie to a stereotypically stupid horror film.

Overall, the movie was pretty much half and half. It started out so strong and great and ended very weakly and humorously. The sex scenes that were in it just killed the movie by taking things way too over the line, and I can’t really look past that and the stupid action scenes toward the end. Basically, go see this one at your own risk and be prepared to be disappointed.



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