A team of genetic engineers secretly create an animal/human
hybrid creature that exhibits heightened intelligence.
Directed by Vincenzo Natali
Written by Vincenzo Natali, Antoinette Terry Bryant, Doug Taylor
Starring Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chanéac,
Brandon McGibbon, David Hewlett, Simona Maicanescu
Splice is an oddball, and not in a good way. It has a great premise, but it doesn't go far enough with it, until the finale where it goes too far. The three leads are all great, but you never feel like the stakes are all that high with something this monumental to science. The company they work for is kinda vague in their ultimate goal, and the ending feels a bit rushed. Plus, and this is just a personal note, the sex scenes are incredibly disturbing, particularly the second one. This film is definitely an acquired taste, and I don't think I acquired it.
Clive (Brody) and Elsa (Polley) are genetic engineers working to synthesize an important protein by creating hybrid animals. When the company they work for threatens to defund their project unless they pull this off, they secretly incorporate human DNA into the experiment, creating a human/animal hybrid that they call Dren (Chanéac). Dren is smart, emotional, and mostly resembles a human being. But her animal instincts are in charge, and she lashes out. Things take a turn when Clive inexplicably has sex with Dren, and Elsa catches him. Instead of vomiting horribly and throwing him out, she kinda takes the blame for it herself. It's strange, freaky, and not explained very well. In the end, Dren turns male and goes on a rampage, even raping Elsa to impregnate her before Clive stabs him with a branch. See what I mean? An acquired taste.
Splice is a bizarre film that features a lot of uncomfortable scenes that will certainly stay with the viewer. But the first half is pretty dull, the supporting characters all exist to be killed in the finale, and none of the characters act realistic at all. The scenes with Dren never go as far as they should either. They go right up to the line of making her more of a sympathetic, multi-layered character instead of a horror movie monster, but they don't cross it. So, the film ends up being just another monster movie.