Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Splice is the Reason Why Genetic Manipulation is Dangerous

There are times when you watch a movie and as the credits roll you are just stunned. Sometimes it is a good pause where you can't believe what just happened and you're excited and satisfied. Other times it's a stunned silence that fills the air because you can't believe what you just watched. After sitting through Splice with my two younger brothers and my best friend John, we all turned to each other and just stared in awe, only being able to utter the line "What the hell?!" For the rest of the weekend, despite going to a concert of one of our favorite bands and moving my father to Boone, NC, at the end of Sunday night my brothers and I could still not get Dren off of our minds. That's when you know a movie is good, at least in my book.
Even this Poster Can't Help Explain How Twisted this Movie is.

Splice is put into that monster/horror genre, but it comes out a little light on the scares and heavier on the psychological and social commentary behind human genetic manipulation. The story follows two geneticists Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody) and Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley) who have worked for years manipulating animal DNA to create a new breed of creature that can be used to harvest rare genes for crafting medicines. After being denied further research and assigned to simply harvest said genes,  the two decided to go rogue and create a human/animal hybrid just to prove themselves right. After the splicing finally works, Clive is ready to scrap the project while Elsa is determined to follow through, eventually pushing Clive to help her create Dren (Delphine ChanĂ©ac). The tension created between Clive and Elsa builds through out the movie, starting out as typical girlfriend/boyfriend scraps that culminate in this mixture of parental fights and battles between colleagues that melds together well. Each character unfolds in front of the viewers eyes with his or her faults and praises, but at the end of the film it's kind of hard to tell exactly whether or not you like or dislike either Elsa or Clive (they both have their fair share of disturbing scenes).

They all start out so Cute.

Much in that same vein, Dren is a hard creature to put into a category. She is her own character as much as Elsa and Clive. Her growth from this pet like animal to this humanistic creature is fascinating, especially watching the psychology unravel as the clock ticks away. It's almost like watching evolution unfold before your eyes. By the end of the film she comes out into an eerily human character and it's almost hard to not feel some sort of connection to Dren, whether it's sympathy or fascination or fear.

The film does have it's share of faults that honestly comes from viewer preference and incorrect advertising rather than from the movie itself. The film is of a slower pace than horror viewers may enjoy and requires patience to really appreciate the whole thing. This is also more of a thought provoking film than a horror or even suspenseful film, with almost no gore at all and no real monster scene up until the last ten minutes of the film, which may turn some people away from viewing or enjoying it due to the expectation of something else.

Days later I'm still thinking about this movie. Though it may not adhere to the genre it is labeled, the ambiguity and moral dilemmas that arise are wonderful to see unfold, especially the ridiculous ending.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Here's a few extra links to run through:
the official movie site: http://www.splicethefilm.com/dvd/
imdb Splice link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1017460/
rottentomatoes.com's Splice link : http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1208173-splice/


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