Thoughts on Splice

Saturday, June 5, 2010 7:49 PM By Simon


(this be the pilot for my maybe-future of modestly-mouthed, non-centralized, fully-formed film thought. I know, a silly notion, but it's what the masses want, and I am nothing it not a people pleaser)

(to ease my way out of this steep transition: shit, fuck, dipshit, crap, ass, hole, asshole, masshole, cuntlicker, motherfucker, dicklicker)

As of late, both the sci-fi genre and the horror genre have been lacking. Even the late works of The King Dario Argento have been (to be kind) dire. We've had Pandorum to toy around with, Gamer was rather disastrous, and District 9 was great, it's not of the hardcore sci-fi genre, the science-gone-wrong school of horror that once ruled the nineties with an iron fist and a thirst for gray flesh.

Our years may be back, folks. As Splice, for all the hesitance, is a pretty great film. Directed by Vincenzo Natali, who also did the patently awesome Cube, knows what he's doing, obviously. A taut thriller, a terrifying scenerio, a drama, both relationship and moral, as our main characters, Elsa and Clive (Sarah Polley and Adrian Brody in top form, as much as I hate that phrase), struggle with the implications of what they've done. See, they're a pair of young hipster scientists, experts in gene splicing, the kind that make it onto magazine covers and and wear jeans in the lab and have Japanese comic blowups hanging on their wall. Upon finding out that, after years of work on creating a new species, two throbbing brown slug-like things called Fred and Ginger, their parent company, Newstead, insist they must now dedicate the lab to protein research to recoup, despite the possiblity of curing countless genetic diseases with their discovery. Taking no time to pout, the two rush over to their lab and, after many tests, manage to take the genes of a human and mix it with the components of Fred and Ginger. While telling themselves the creature won't be brought to term, it comes early and...you've seen the trailers. Meet Dren.

See, this movie is terrifying. As things get more and more out of control with Dren and her antics, as Elsa develops a motherly attachment to her, while Clive goes from disgust to animosity to something like paternalism to something very not, as they dodge discovery, as they wrangle Dren in what can be called 'raising' her, she grows more intelligent, more self-aware, becoming a full-fledged adult in a matter of weeks (now played strangely and wonderfully by model Delphine Chanéac), she develops a bipolar approach, alternating between tantrums and bouts of sweetness. And then shit gets real.

I mean, some of the stuff going on after the midway mark is just...I believe it was Travis that compared it to The Human Centipede in pure squick fuel. Like that, it goes from twisted nuclear-family drama, almost a scientific caper, to a horrifying cautionary tale of what happens when you mess with genetics. And it works. A thrilling score and amazing direction, no reliance on jump-cuts and fakeouts, with great performances around the board. Okay?

Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley make a great team, I think.

The. End. Is. Twisted.

(and great)

Foreboding too, you never know what exactly is going to happen, but you know if can't be good.

Worth the ticket price, says me.

Funny story in the theatre. Initially, it was me, Parent, two guys, and a woman. Then, maybe half an hour into the movie, a guy walks in. Just a middle-aged dude with a cap and jacket and whatnot. Maybe it was because I was, up until then, running on five cans of Pepsi and the samples at Costco, just retiring from horror movie marathon of quasi-epic proportions, maybe I've been spoiled by many films of the nature, but I was absolutely, 100% sure he was going to stand up at the end of the movie and shoot everyone in the theatre. I was so sure, in fact, I was already planning my exit strategy--usher Parent out as quick as possible, keeping both our heads low and walking fast, tipping the garbage can on our way out, running to the car and driving like fucking Gene Hackman. I was so antsy, I spent a good ten minutes staring at his head, distance between us. Turns out, though, he was just a theatre hopper.

Close call. Good night, all.

10 comments:

SugaryCynic said...

hmmm,I've been pretty dismissive of Splice but I keep hearing that it's really pretty good. Might have to check it out. Also i totally feel you on the movie creeper. At Dark Knight, I think, this dude kept limping from aisle to aisle asking for someone's ticket stub. He was acting really spazzy and eventually limped off somewhere else. Five seconds later a whole battalion of ushers and security were combing the theater and outside looking for limping dude. Weird.

June 5, 2010 at 10:32 PM
Simon said...

This is why I am in full support of ticket purchases should come with helmets and bullet-proof vests.

June 5, 2010 at 11:32 PM
Fitz said...

I was worried this film might take a whole pro-life movement but after listening to the director's interview on NPR I found out it wouldn't. Might see it during the week.

June 6, 2010 at 11:29 AM
Vancetastic said...

I like what (someone, reading too much) said about how the movie doesn't rely on jump scares almost at all. That's as different as different gets.

Still, my theater laughed (I think unintentionally) at a couple parts of the movie, and I have two friends who hated it. Needless to say, I'm still processing it. The Human Centipede was more unambiguously awesome to me, but I think I feel pretty positively toward this one too.

June 7, 2010 at 1:03 PM
Ms☆Go (dcmoviegirl) said...

Paranoia is only so if nothing happens. If something does, then you're the smart survivor.

Also, I do dig Adrien and Sarah and I love horror, but I'm skeptical. Especially given the many lackluster films of late.

I'll eventually get around to seeing it.

June 7, 2010 at 2:04 PM
Klaus said...

I wasn't sure about this one, but will give it a look this week based on your review.

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