… Everything awful! Jeez! What a movie Splice turned out to be.
Scientists/lovers, Elsa (Sarah Polley) and Clive (Adrian Brody, in the first movie I ever liked him in), break laws and bends morals to create the Ultimate Being, Dren, a cocktail creature consisting of various animal DNA including human. A modern day Frankenstein’s monster born of hubris and just plain craziness (science? feh!) , Elsa asks of its birth — frequently — “What’s the worst that could happen?”
Everything. Everything goes wrong. Every taboo, often several at a time, gets broken in the course of Splice‘s nauseatingly fun run. This is a gross, gross, gross movie and it’s a blast to watch everything spiral out of control. Spectacle and splatter is the order of the day, though none of that would matter without a surprisingly clever script and interesting characters.
Elsa, the obvious Eve with all the “evil” ideas, is a nut, but not without reason. Her backstory and everything it suggests almost disturbs more than the present goings-on with Dren, and it’s wonderful what a few well-orchestrated visuals can do to reveal a character this messed up. I almost forgot what that was like to see in a genre picture like this.
Clive, the more level-headed Adam, gets some interesting stuff to do, too, but to say anymore would probably spoil the movie’s more provocative surprises. Of course, just knowing there’s a provocative surprise may spoil the surprise, but, still. This guy goes places you wouldn’t want to go. Or maybe you would? Weirdo.
Dren, some kind Bjorkish penis-headed thing from a Chris Cunningham video, undergoes transformation after transformation, and it’s always repulsive and *gulp* attractive at the same time. Like, you want to look away, but you can’t. It’s a new life form growing up! Right before your eyes! And it’s not annoying or overly grotesque, how Splice achieves this must be some sort of miracle.
Splice is a small movie. Tiny cast, a few locales, including a barn where Dren eventually lives. The barn’s like the bedroom from The Exorcist. When the movie shifts there you know something weird or bad is going to happen. Or something funny! Any reaction you have to Splice, so long as it’s a strong one, is probably the right one.
I recommend anyone see it while it’s still in theaters, late at night with a big, appreciative crowd. Don’t know how likely that will be — it doesn’t look like it’s made that big a slash. Like a good horror movie typically… does. Hopefully word-of-mouth, and all those other positive reviews, will carry Splice through to some kind notoriety. It’s a genre-blending treat in the vein of Demon Seed or David Cronenberg’s The Fly.
Er, a treat for fans of movies with awful things in it anyway!