Reviews: Splice

Splice‘s poster makes things pretty clear from from the get-go – produced by the director of Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo Del Toro) and from the director of Cube (Vicenzo Natali), it is implied that you are to expect something, let’s say, unusual or weird. That is exactly what you get with Splice.

Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody) and Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley) are two scientists who work at splicing genes from different animals. Their goal: create a new hybrid animal. However, as good scientists, they feel the need to explore and create more, and alas, using human genes, they attempt to create another hybrid animal to be kept secret from the rest of their corporation. They succeed, and thus the new hybrid animal is born: Dren (Delphine Chanéac). Dren is a female hybrid animal with human genes that evolves and grows at a rapid rate, quickly becoming a full grown hybrid (in appearance, Dren ends up resembling a strange, sensual humanoid).

Clive struggles with the creation of Dren – her existence puts his job in jeopardy. He initially wants to get rid of Dren, before gradually warming to her. In Dren, Elsa finds the child she never had. However, as Dren grows and becomes impatient and unresponsive to Elsa’s demands, chaos beings to take hold. The movie is full of surprises and odd moments – right from the start. Clive and Elsa appear to function well as a couple, however as Dren grows tension begins to get the best of them.

As Clive, Brody proves once again how versatile he can be. We’ve seen him as everything now, and as a troubled scientist he does a good job. He manages to convey the weird, awkward sense of responsibility that experiences when he has to take care of Dren and Elsa’s emotions at the same time quite effectively. Sarah Polley, too, is convincing as a troubled scientist with a rough past (reflected in the way she treats her creation). Reminiscent of a young Julianne Moore, Polley makes you believe that she is indeed the nurturer of Dren. As the spliced creation, Chanéac succeeds in making you empathise with her while she is growing up, as well as confuse you when she becomes grown up and begins to explore, well, everything; even her sexuality. Chanéac has worked as a model and in French movies and television and manages to craft a great performance as well as hypnotise you with her unique look.

If you are looking for something different and if you are a fan of sci-fi and sexual tension,  you should go see Splice. If you thought Cube was a good movie and really enjoyed Pan’s Labyrinth you will like Splice, however weirded out you are by it.


review by Mariana Gaona Lopez


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