July 24, 2010
Two young, top of their game, and very much in love scientists, Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley), ignore the forbidding from their superiors and the “moral implications” of it all, and go ahead and splice together human and animal DNA. But motivated by more than just the science of the thing, the resultant spawn, Dren (Delphine Chaneac) becomes more like a deformed daughter to them than the subject of a scientific experiment, culminating in a whole lot more than they bargained for during her “coming of age” style awakening.
Occasionally clumsy but when at its best a form of flattery for the likes of Peter Jackson and David Cronenberg in its comic gross-out moments (though they are too few and far between), Splice (2009) is a successfully commercial and fun horror-schlock flick. To be taken with a generous pinch of salt, Splice sustains its duration with good humour. A sure highlight is the sight of their jarred and pickled failed experiments in a lab cabinet, the names of which include; Sid and Nancy, Bonnie and Clyde and Bogie and Bacall. This, just after they’ve bickered over the naming of their newest progeny; Fred or Marvin and Ginger?
The early imaging of Dren is fantastic; her foetus stage resembling the sick “baby” from David Lynch’s Eraserhead (1976); something like a chicken crossed with a penis. As she matures however she grows to look very much like a full human, which reveals the limitations (and no doubt expenses) of CGI as much as it does the make-up artistry. But it’s nice to see Sarah Polley return to a genre she suits and Adrien Brody certainly makes for a perfect nerdy nice guy. Great entertainment, although not a whole lot more, it’s well worth your time and the admission.
Splice screens as a part of this year’s MIFF and will be screening again on Sunday 01 August 2010, 9.15pm, Greater Union Cinema 6.