Film Review: "Splice"

(Warner Brothers Pictures. 1 hour, 44 minutes. Rated R for disturbing elements including strong sexuality, nudity, sci-fi violence and language. Directed by Vincenzo Natali.) Adrien Brody (Clive Nicoli), Sarah Polley (Elsa Kast), Delphine Chanéac (Dren), Brandon McGibbon (Gavin Nicoli). Music by Cyrille Aufort.
In search of notoriety and new medicines, biochemists Clive and Elsa (Brody and Polley) create a hybrid creature containing human DNA. As their creation grows and matures, Clive and Elsa have to face the consequences of their tampering with biology. A well-made and timely horror story.

The best word I've found to describe Splice is "grotesque." It has some very viscerally disgusting scenes and a disturbingly realistic character in Dren (creepily well-realized by newcomer Chanéac and the expert visual effects team), but the real grotesqueries are provided by the actions of our protagonists. Brody and Polley are believable as a pair of brilliant scientists, but their pursuit of greater heights inspires morbid curiosity and stomach-churning dread. While the film (thankfully) doesn't delve too deeply into the science at play, the ethics are all too familiar, especially given the current pace of scientific/technological advancement. The only disappointing aspect of the movie is the third act, which devolves into a generic-horror-movie chase scene, capped by predictable but unsettling ending. As far as recent "horror" movies go, Splice is one of the more affecting and effective I've seen.
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Jared Counts

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Jared Counts moved to Houston in 1995, survived high school and college, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a degree in Communications (Media Production) and a minor in Film Studies...