Film Review: Splice

Splice is a bit of a strange film. There’s a feeling that the eery concept could work, but ultimately the film fails to live up to expectation.

Two ambitious scientists working at a genetics lab decide to try to combine animal and human DNA to create a new species. The couple, however, underestimate its cognitive abilities and rapid growth rate…

A modern update of the classic Frankenstein tale, the film offers the prerequisite warning on the dangers of messing with nature. Other than this, however, it offers little else. Splice lacks the trepidation expected of a science fiction-horror such as this. Whilst film begins in quite an interesting manner, the final scenes are a let down. The ending is hackneyed, reminiscent of numerous other films of this nature. Splice offers little originality or adaptation in this regard.

Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley are well cast in their respective roles. Nonetheless, neither of the two protagonists is particularly likeable, which makes it difficult to care about their fate. There is less of the tragic Victor Frankenstein about the scientists; this archetype has been replaced by conceited upstarts experimenting just to see if they can push the boundaries.

The main plus point of the film comes in the form of Dren, the hybrid created by the scientists. Director Vincenzo Natali has combined CGI and other effects with a real actress (Delphine Chanéac) to produce a highly realistic creature. The effects are seamless, particularly in her movement and interaction with the other characters.

Nonetheless, great effects are not enough to save Splice; it adds little to the genre. For a top-notch sci-fi horror film, your best bet is the far superior The Fly (either version).

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