Basically a true sign of why Alien day-care wouldn’t quite work out.
Ignoring instructions from the pharmaceutical company that funds their research, groundbreaking genetic scientists Elsa (Sarah Polley) and Clive (Adrien Brody) continue with an unorthodox experiment to create a human-animal hybrid, a new life form they dub “Dren” (Delphine Chanéac). When they see their fantastical creation, Clive warns that it should be destroyed, but Elsa refuses — a decision she’ll regret when Dren makes deadly plans of her own.
In today’s day and age where we have stem-cell research, Dolly the sheep, and abortions happening all-over-the-place, it’s always good to get some science fiction that makes you think about all of that. Except, I only wished there was a better film to make me think.
Director Vincenzo Natali does a good job with this story giving it that mysterious feeling to it and having us wonder just how it is all going to end. I liked wondering just if this little human-alien was going to turn out more like E.T. or like Alien, because we get looks at both a kind alien and a dangerous alien.
The script is also pretty good when it sticks to the ideas of knowing what is right and what is wrong when it comes to scientific research. There are always science fiction films that show these experiments just being brutal but nobody ever saying what is acceptable and what is not. I thought this was pretty cool to see and hear considering we never get this in any of these shitty sci-fi horror films that come out every three times or more a year.
However, the script starts to really lose itself when it gets away from those ideas and more towards the plot, which in some cases is a good thing but here it really started to lose me. The film brings up things about Elsa’s mother, and how abusive she was towards her which kind of contributes to her way of living in the film but it is never really brought up again. The film also talks about how being a parent is tough, even if you’re kid is messed up. I didn’t care much about this because I was interested in Dren, and I think everybody else who watched this film was too so I have no idea why they bothered going down this direction.
Dren, however, is a very interesting character that I liked to watch and get to know more and more about as the film went on. I think she looks a little bit like Sinead O’Connor with a huge forehead tail and weird peg legs but that’s not much of a bad thing since the scenes with her are actually almost as interesting as any of the other ideas this film brings up. She doesn’t speak and only communicates through Scrabble letters which was pretty cool however, more could have actually been shown to describe her ways and actions.
Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley are fine here as Dren’s “parents” but considering the huge amount of talent these two actually have (hell Brody has an Oscar) I was expecting something more from both of these stars instead of just delivering lines. I would have also liked to see more of the film focusing on these two and their relationship to give us more of a liking for these character’s which is something I feel like it could have had easily if it just played out better.
For the most part, the film kept me interested and my eyes glued to the screen, it was only until the last 30 minutes where it actually lost me and oh god, did it really lose me! I can’t give away any major plot happenings but what you will see happen will probably make you laugh your ass off in the most unintentional way ever, because it did for me. After this problem, the film is basically doomed for the remainder and as soon as it turns all cliche and predictable there’s no real turning back and you know that this one had so much more potential.
Consensus: Splice works well with some interesting ideas and a good central character but the problem is that it’s never truly thrilling or dedicated to one idea, which sort of takes away from the cool premise and makes the bizarre last 30 minutes seem even worse. Not terrible, just flawed.