DVD REVIEW: SPLICE (2010)

Dren and Elsa

 

SPLICE

Starring Sarah Polley, Adrien Brody and Delphine Cheneac

Directed by Vincenzo Natali

Written by Vincenzo Natali & Antoinette Terry Bryant and Doug Taylor

eOne Entertainment

 

Splice’s relative failure at the box office this summer was disappointing for a number of reasons. First, it was a smart, well-made Canadian film so it deserved support. And secondly, it proves that horror fans are willing to bitch about the lack of original horror out there but they’re not willing to vote with their wallets when an actual original horror film gets made and distributed.

Adrien Brody as Clive

And Splice deserves to be seen. Director Vincenzo Natali (Cube) spent more than a decade getting the film made, and the result of all that thought, work and dedication is evident in the sheer imagination on display. Sarah Polley (Dawn of the Dead) and Adrien Brody (King Kong) star as Clive and Elsa (ha ha), hotshot geneticists whose ambitions go against common sense when they splice animal and human DNA. The result is Dren, a hybrid being who they try to raise like a daughter. That it will end is tears (and other bodily fluids) should be obvious.

Polley and Brody give brave performances. Their characters are generally well-meaning but not immune to selfishness or weakness, resulting in some of the more disturbing scenes in a modern science fiction films. Nor does Natali shy away from exploring the consequences of Clive and Elsa’s actions – Dren should not exist but she does and that is going to cause (bloody) problems for all involved.

Sarah Polley on the Splice red carpet

The extras on eOne’s single disc DVD are extensive and interesting, including a one-on-one interview between Natali and Fangoria’s Tony Timpone which details the director’s struggles to get the film made, as well as the larger themes and moral issues at play. Behind-the-scenes and on-set featurettes explore the fascinating creation of Dren (played by lithe French actress Delphine Cheneac) and the filming of Splice here in Southern Ontario.

If you didn’t see Splice in theatres (and you probably didn’t), at least rent the DVD before you start complaining about how Hollywood only makes sequels and remakes. You want original horror? You’ve got it.

 

Rating: 4/5

 

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