I watched with great enthusiasm the trailer for Splice starring Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley. You can see it here. It had all the makings of a great sci fi/horror movie – technology, an aggressive new life form, and renegade scientist lovers. What more could a horror movie fan ask for?
A plausible plot, for one. Ok, the basic plot wasn’t bad. Privately funded science lab, N.E.R.D., is run my Elsa (Polley) and Clive (Brody), a couple of genetic engineers who also happen to be madly in love. They have created a new life form by splicing the DNS from multiple animals in order to engineer a protein that can be marketed for pharmaceutical companies. They want to take it to the next level and introduce human DNA into the mix. Of, the powers that be tell them no, it’s morally and legally wrong. They do it anyway.
Here’s where it should get interesting. They’re just going to see if they can do it but agree to terminate the project before it goes through its entire gestation period. Elsa has a change of heart and convinces Clive to allow it to be born. They hide what they are doing from everyone else at the lab, even Clive’s brother Gavin (Brandon McGibbon).
Just as the creature finally enters the picture, Splice’s other plot twists are brought into play as though the filmmakers didn’t feel the new life form and its capabilities would be enough to hold audience’s attention. We learn Elsa has suffered some sort of childhood trauma at the hands of her mother leaving her unwilling to have children of her own. As a result, she becomes increasing attached to their project, named DREN, – get it? Clive keeps trying to get Elsa to terminate the project, fearing for their careers and everyone’s well-being but Elsa won’t hear of it.
The financiers of the lab are pressuring the pair to develop the protein they need for the marketplace but they are so wrapped up in their own project that they leave the original project to others who mishandle it and nearly get the lab closed down completely.
Eventually the pair moves DREN to Elsa’s childhood home in the secluded woods. Here they start acting like a little family instead of like scientists conducting research. DREN ages quickly and in a matter of weeks becomes a young woman, albeit one with unusual abilities.
This is where Splice loses me completely. Elsa I acting bizarrely. Clive is worried about her and about their careers. He comes home one day and finds DREN alone and looking seductively at him. As a scientist he should back away. As a parent he should back away. As a man in a committed relationship, he should back away. But nope, right there on the barn floor he and DREN go at it. No explanation of why – he has not been attracted to her prior to this. No secret pheromones are discussed which might have made him succumb to her desires. Just a quick roll in the hay, literally. With no reason for the sex scene, it made the movie less believable.
As for the horror aspect, no one dies until the last ten or fifteen minutes of Splice. The new life form, while capable of great violence and endowed with numerous abilities, is really rather lame, nothing more than a spoiled child.
If the idea here was to show that man should not play God by splicing DNA from multiple life forms, it failed. My reaction was that it could be done based on what was presented, just not by these two scientists. The horror was nonexistent, the romance fizzled and the sci fi was adequate at best.
After watching Splice, all I wanted was to splice the two sections of my life – pre-Splice and post-Splice – together and eliminate what came in between.
Source: Personal Viewing