Thursday, June 10, 2010

Let's Review! - Splice (2010)

The Summer blockbuster season has started. A barrage of sequels and 3D flicks will subsequently be invading the theaters. Who wants to see "Eclipse"?? Anyway, there are some exceptions to this Summer Movie Madness going on. Sometimes there are a few little dirty gems amongst all the polished, big-budget drivel. And usually, those little gems are horror movies. Last Summer saw the release of two great little sleepers called "Orphan" and "The Collector." They both gave me quite a surprise, and the end of that Summer saw the box office smackdown of "The Final Destination," and Rob Zombie's "Halloween II." Sadly, this Summer seems to be quite devoid of horror, which is unfortunate. This past weekend, I went out to see "Splice," a movie that I feel kind of "uneven" about. Here's my first full review:

Splice (2010)

The Dark Castle Remake Machine has been running out of steam lately. Over the past few years they have been doing actual "original" horror movies (what a concept). Last year's "Orphan" is one such example. Now these films aren't "totally" original. They are more like fresh "spins" on classic horror staples. "Orphan" was a nice fresh spin on "evil children" horror flicks like "The Bad Seed" and "Children of the Corn." This year's "Splice" is a take on the "Frankenstein" films and the various bizarre sci-fi shockers of David Cronenberg. The "It's Alive!" films also seem to be sources of inspiration to this film. The film's main focus is on the two central characters of the film named Clive and Elsa, played by Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley. I loved the references to "Frankenstein" and "Bride of Frankenstein" with their names. Clive's name comes from the name of actor Colin Clive, who played Frankenstein's creator in the original film, and Elsa's name came from the actress Elsa Lancester, who played the infamous Bride of Frankenstein. It's cool when films pay homage to the classics. I would prefer homages rather than remakes. Anyway, Clive and Elsa are a hot, nerdy scientist couple working on a new breakthrough in cloning by adding human DNA to various other species of animal DNA. What they get is Dren, an entirely new species, and ultimately a threat to humanity. Dren has certain characteristics of a human, but also has the characteristics of various animals. She can breath underwater, she has a tail with a stinger on it, and she has wings! At one point, Clive wants to destroy it, but Elsa wants it to live on, and eventually starts to love her as her own...

Who wouldn't love this face??

So, the film becomes a "dysfunctional family" tale at one point, which was pretty interesting. But you can't have a rosy, cheery, puppy-dog ending with these movies, so what ensues is various horrifying circumstances beyond the control of our leads, and the old adage of "Don't fuck with Mother Nature" comes into play.

I liked this movie. I didn't "love" it, but I liked the film as a whole. It had a lot of interesting concepts, and the acting was its strongest suit. I really liked Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley as this quirky, geeky, hot young couple. They were unconventional, which is why I liked them. Their performances were solid as well, as Polley was a motherly, strong-willed character, and Brody was the more reasonable, laid-back character. The performance that made the movie, however, was Delphine Chaneac's incredible performance of Dren. Her character was innocent, child-like, yet seductive, angry, and... pretty hot. I have a crush on Dren. Yeah...

The biggest let-down for me in terms of this film, was the ending. I don't want to reveal anything, but I guess I was expecting something truly shocking. I kept hearing all this buzz about the controversial ending, and I was expecting a "Sleepway Camp"-style ending. What I got wasn't that shocking or surprising. I expect too much out of films, especially horror films.

All in all, I give this flick a 3/5 (***)

It was a solid film, it had great characters, an engaging story, but it fell flat in terms of scares, shocks, and surprises. It also had a low gore count, which was kinda disappointing, but oh well. I would recommend watching it once. Maybe a rental. I would also recommend repeated viewings. I hated the fuck out of "The Matrix" when I first saw it, but now I love that flick!! In conclusion, it's an interesting little spin on the films of Cronenberg and the various "Frankenstein" films, so watch it if you wanna see something different...

Now here's a great little song called "Test Tube Babies" by The Plasmatics, that sums up the whole flick:

I can relate any great horror movie to punk music...