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Splice (2009)

R  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  4 June 2010 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 75,141 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 355 user | 363 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

Genetic engineers Clive Nicoli and Elsa Kast hope to achieve fame by successfully splicing together the DNA of different animals to create new hybrid animals for medical use.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Horror

Brother and sister are driving through Kansas during their road trip. Suddenly, they hear calls for help coming. They stop to investigate and get lost in field of tall grass.

Director: Vincenzo Natali
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Dren (as Delphine Chaneac)
...
Simona Maicanescu ...
Joan Chorot
...
William Barlow
...
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Storyline

Two young rebellious scientists are told by their employers to halt groundbreaking work that has seen them produce new creatures with medical benefits by splicing together multiple organisms' DNA. They decide to secretly continue their work, but this time splicing in human DNA. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She Is Not Supposed To Exist See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing elements including strong sexuality, nudity, sci-fi violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

4 June 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hibrid  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,385,277 (USA) (4 June 2010)

Gross:

£239,538 (UK) (30 July 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Elsa and Clive drive an AMC Gremlin, possibly the 1977 model. See more »

Goofs

When Elsa finds Clive and Dren in the barn, she stands in the wide-open door. In the next shot, from outside, Elsa throws the barn door open and runs out. See more »

Quotes

[techno music playing]
Clive Nicoli: This retarded, fascist, über music is the fuckin' problem. It's got us thinking in circles.
[turns on jazz music]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The company logos appear on X-rays. See more »

Connections

References Flying Down to Rio (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Hot Singh
Written and Performed by Graham Rogers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Untruth In Advertising
9 June 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Splice" is a step in the right direction for horror.

Every so often, I find myself pleasantly surprised by intentionally misadvertised entertainment, and writer/director Vincenzo Natali's genetic genre mash-up is the latest such example. From a marketing standpoint, its scare-tactics are clearly the easy sell, despite their comprising only a tiny percentage of its thematic intent. 'Hard sci-fi parenting metaphor' is, after all, a much tougher pitch.

So expecting the tasteless creature feature from the trailer, "Splice" impressed me in its pursuit of a more complex emotional response than fear, and is successful in burrowing into your subconscious and picking at your psyche. It's a thinking man's B picture, which plays with the idea of morality on both a scientific and personal level. That it remains intellectually stimulating, even when the surface-area film dips into more traditionally hokey horror territory, is its greatest strength.

What's so interesting about the story, in spite of what the trailer suggests, is that the creature artificially spawned by genetic engineers Clive and Elsa (Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley) is not an antagonist for the vast majority of the film. "Splice" isn't about a monster— It's about parenthood, and like with "Rosemary's Baby" or "Eraserhead," taking the associated fears and filtering them through a horror lens.

Besides the tail and the pronounced facial cleft, test-tube baby Dren ('Nerd' backwards, heh) is essentially human, and a big part of "Splice's" inherent creepiness is that she's treated in turn as a subject and a child—Warmly received, but caged and abandoned for significant stretches of time. The realization of this character by French actress Delphine Chanéac, is another of the film's triumphs. Her general lack of dialogue sometimes forces the performance to rely a little too heavily on pantomime, but that we can both feel for and fear Dren simultaneously is a testament to the range of the actress.

Perhaps it's because "Splice" nails the big performances and the big ideas, and because the gears turning behind the action are so consistently fluid, that it's all the more apparent when it stumbles over little things, like stilted motivation issues, and superfluous, grating secondary characters. Clive's brother (Brandon McGibbon) and boss (David Hewlett), for example, are flat placeholder roles that transparently progress the plot instead of enriching it. The triangular relationship between Clive, Elsa, and Dren, and its weird morphing emotional permutations, is what "Splice" is at its core. It is a film with very few characters, but every moment not spent on that central dynamic feels like time wasted.

Still, that minor gripe is forgivable because "Splice" has two hugely important and rare qualities for modern horror—Original thought and fearless storytelling. The undercurrent of sexuality in the film, the internal dialogue on gender roles, is apparently one of the reasons no studio wanted to touch the script last year, but Natali's film is a cut above the rest precisely because it isn't afraid to make an audience uncomfortable. And it gets uncomfortable.

"Splice" gets a lot of credit from me in the abstract. The concrete film doesn't quite live up to the incredible promise of the ideas behind it, but the very presence of those ideas is reaffirming to a degree, and that "Splice" received a wide domestic release is more encouraging still. Granted, it went on to perform below expectations at the box office, but was positioned against more breezy summer fare like "Shrek" and "Get Him to the Greek."

The other possibility, and this suggests more consumer confidence than an ad man may be inclined to grant, is that "Splice's" scare-tactics aren't the easy sell. Maybe, like me, potential moviegoers just saw a trailer for another crappy horror movie instead of the interesting, offbeat experiment it is.

It's Warner Brother's loss, and the audience's.


177 of 243 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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