Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Splice - Cineworld - 24/7/10

First things first; "Splice" is not a horror film.

At least, it's not the sort of blood, guts, slasher or torture porn that passes for horror today.

This is intelligent, witty film-making with something important to say and which manages not to be po-faced or preachy.

It's destined for "cult" status which perhaps shouldn't come as a surprise given the fact that director Vincenzo Natali is the man responsible for "Cube", which was another non-horror horror film that had things to say.

Two scientists, lovers, Clive (Adrian Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley), make a name for themselves by producing a new species...a blobby thing that may hold the secret to curing all manner of diseases thanks to its being made from the DNA of all manner of other species. The male and female they create are named "Fred" and "Ginger"...although the dance they perform in the film provides the one moment of blood splattery!

Not content with what they have achieved Clive and Elsa embark upon a new mission..."splicin" human DNA into their new creation. What follows is the birth of "Dren" (NERD backwards...which is also the name of the lab that Clive and Elsa work in). Dren starts "life" as plucked chicken with a big head and quickly evolves into a strangely beautiful young "woman" with strange legs!

I know, I know...this all sounds utterly ridiculous but as it is played with its tongue firmly in cheek it avoids being embarrassing and instead remains playful and fun despite probing areas of science and morality that few other films would dare to breach. Natali has made a "monster" movie that pays homage to the sad and unloved Frankenstein but that is completely fresh and novel. Only in the final act did I lose faith and feel that Natali had made concessions to the traditional Hollywood horror conventions. Overall though this was more interesting and more enjoyable than the eighteen hours of cinema horror that Christopher Nolan dished up with "Inception".

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