Proof Review: Splice (2010)

Release Date
June 4, 2010
Director
Vincenzo Natali
Screenplay
Vincenzo Natali
Antoinette Terry Bryant
Doug Taylor
Distributed By
Warner Bros. Pictures
Budget
$30 million
Science Fiction, Thriller
Rated R for disturbing elements including strong sexuality, nudity, sci-fi violence and language
104 minutes

Splice

“Splice” bears a striking resemblance to the 1995 science fiction horror film “Species”. From the trailers, I anticipated a “Species” remake without actually being a remake and replacing the alien with a genetically engineered “species”. What I got was exactly that, almost to the “T” (or “S” since there really is no “T” in the word “species”).

Take the format of the 1995 film “Species” and update it fifteen years into the future, where the world of science is right on the brink of developing clones and human genome projects to genetically enhance the human survival. Unsure how to categorize “Splice” (which bares a striking resemblance to even the name of the one word title “Species”), I must analyze the film a little further.

In a class taken specifically designed to place films into the horror genre, it was discussed that horror films are clarifications of what humans fear, whether you believe the film “Alien” has horrific childbirth undertones or whether you can extract the human fear of the unknown to many of the classic monsters in what we call horror films. Anyhow, “Splice” may be a very literal take on what humans fear in the evolution of science and technology. What if science gets out of hand? What happens when scientists create a monster that they cannot control (the same fear presented back in the day of Frankenstein)? Regardless, people fear the future and with “Splice” on the cusp of what our future could hold, it definitely places the film closely to those of the horror genre.

“Splice” also rides the line of science fiction cinema. Though it does not shoot scientists into space, the film does allot for toying with the metaphysical; a future (though, perhaps not that far into the future) in which a creature could be spliced with the capabilities to morph into many different beings, whether it can form wings like Dren (the name of the engineered being in “Splice”) or start out life as a mole-like creature and form into a sexual human-like being. With these futuristic tendencies, the film could easily be considered science fiction as well.

Adrien Brody is currently making his living off of films that perhaps other actors are overlooking. His last three (four if you count his voice acting in the amazing film “Fantastic Mr. Fox” as the field mouse) major roles have been in small films like “The Experiment” and “Predators”. Brody has a class all his own and for lack of a better option, Brody delivers an aura to these films that would leave them almost unwatchable in his absence. Though I could have done without the eventual sexual intercourse sequence in “Splice”, for the most part, Adrien Brody delivers the best possible performance despite the screenplay’s obvious limitations.

The creatures are handled well, despite their amorphous existence. The original beings that are basically blobs of moving tissue are thought-provoking, especially when put on display, with apparent spontaneous ex changes, the skin blobs fight to the death, spilling the front row of onlookers with a mixture of flesh and blood in a disgustingly gorgeous display of brutality. Dren is effective as well. As he/she/it grows into a woman-esc figure, you do get the sense of attraction that eventually overcomes Brody’s character, a trait shared with Natasha Henstridge as Sil from “Species” who lures unsuspecting men into bed with her in attempts to become pregnant to spawn her alien babies.

“A message from outer space contains instructions on how to modify human DNA.” This is the tagline offered by IMDB.com describing the film “Species”. Erase the outer space part and you have the tagline from “Splice”. Not saying this is a horrible rendition of an already completed concept, but “Splice” still succeeds in entertaining at least once through and does not come off as necessarily a total waste of time. Your best bet is to pop in “Species” if you have not seen it, and view that first. If that catches your attention, “Splice” may be right up your alley.

 

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