Splice - Blu-ray Review
By Jeff Swindoll Oct 12, 2010, 14:50 GMT
Superstar genetic engineers Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) specialize in splicing together DNA from different animals to create incredible new hybrids. Now they want to use human DNA in a hybrid that could revolutionize science and medicine. But when the pharmaceutical company that funds their research forbids it, Clive and Elsa secretly conduct their own experiments. The result is Dren, an amazing, strangely beautiful creature that exhibits uncommon intelligence ...more
Don’t mess with Mother Nature. That used to be the tagline on a butter commercial, but if you’re a geneticist with personal issues then you might not want to start growing humans in your artificial womb… it won’t turn out well.
Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody) and Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley) are rock star geneticists (they were interviewed by Wired and dress like hipsters) who are also a couple. The duo recently created a “husband” for their hybrid animal Ginger which they lovingly dub Fred. Elsa hopes to move on to playing with human DNA and not animals.
The corporation that funds them wants them to synthesize a specific protein from the two slug-like creatures they’ve created and don’t want to tackle the sticky subject of human DNA experimentation. This seems boring for the rock stars so they secretly conduct experiments with human DNA.
Clive is resistant to continue to bring their creation to term, only wanting to abort it once they’re proved it is viable. Elsa has other plans and brings it into the world and begins to mother the creature that they dub Dren (Delphine Chaneac). The lab begins to get overcrowded and there’s the possibility that their experiment will get found out so they move Dren out to an isolated farm that used to belong to Elsa’s late mother.
Elsa’s childhood issues keep her thinking of Dren as her child, one that she call fully control, but you can’t fully control nature.
They should’ve known better. If anyone has ever watched a horror movie they should know that the usual “I’m better than God” experiment isn’t going to end well. Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) found this out with his original creature and when that same creature came to ask for a bride (Elsa Lanchester).
Don’t know if the kiddies caught that reference from that 1930s masterwork (Ernest Thesiger as the devious Dr. Pretorius perhaps comes closer to our stars with his collection of “miniatures” of which the devil looks most like him).
Like our two main characters, the plotline has been updated for our modern age where we hear phrases like DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) on a daily basis on crime television shows.
So we’re better versed on such genetic building blocks than we might realize. The good Lord usually knows all and sees all and would know that tinkering with genes and growing an unpredictable new life form probably isn’t a relationship enhancer.
However, it is interesting to see them try and there are some fantastic yet disturbing special effects to visualize their attempts. Dren is an oddly attractive bit of hocus pocus that is both malevolent and in some ways easy to understand her torment (thanks to the younger Abigail Chu and Chaneac).
She’s locked away from the world and her advanced aging means that she’s a child trapped in a adult’s body somewhat. Although one should never put too much humanity on her since she has the beast within her as well.
Her “parents” should’ve known better, though they’re played with conviction by Brody and Polley.
Polley is the more complex of the duo since we’re given hints at a disturbed childhood that caused the actions that set the film on motion. Brody is conflicted in that he wants to end the experiment, finds himself falling for the oddity, and then realizes the fear of their experimentations.
Well, they both have the fear of playing God put into them… maybe literally. It’s an intriguing film that grips you from beginning to bloody end.
Splice is presented in a 1080p high definition transfer (1.85:1). The only special feature is the 35 minute “A Director’s Playground” (in standard definition) production documentary. The disc is also BD-Live enhanced. Disc two is a DVD/digital copy.
Splice may be spliced from other sci-fi and horror films, but the genetic plotlines do reflect some stories that grace our news cycles. It may not put you in the mood to have your genes rearranged, but it is a solid film bolstered by some impressive effects and performances.
Visit the DVD database for more information.
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CAdrien Brody Biography -
Adrien Brody Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesDelphine Chanéac Biography - Guillermo del Toro Biography -
Guillermo del Toro Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesSarah Polley Biography -
Sarah Polley Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sites
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