HOLLYWOOD—“Splice” is the latest horror film, which is Vincenzo Natali’s take on the “Frankenstein” story. “Elsa and Clive, two young rebellious scientists, defy legal and ethical boundaries and forge ahead with a dangerous experiment: splicing together human and animal DNA to create a new organism named Dren. The creature rapidly develops from a deformed female infant into a beautiful but dangerous winged human-chimera, who forges a bond with both of her creators—only to have that bond turn deadly,” says the studio.
The film stars Oscar-winner Adrien Brody as Clive, and Elsa is played by actress Sarah Polley. Sarah seems to create a bond with Dren from the beginning, while Clive senses the immediate danger, while still being drawn into his own creation as well. The film takes shocking twists and turns, and for those scientists who veer too far into creation, ethicists have warned this type of creation is possible. Surely it’s purely fictional and specifically science fiction; however, Brody’s realistic portrayal with sensitivity in his style of acting sure made me jump every time there was a close-up shot of his face while his character was looking at the evil creature he helped to create.
This story has been done a lot, most notably by Universal Studios during the 1930s and ”˜40s. This film proved that people who say a story has been done to death can sometimes be wrong. Though it’s obvious from the very beginning what the ending must be, it sure did keep me guessing during the telling of this story. Monster movies have not been my favorite genre lately, but this film sure caught my attention and the monster special effects are worthy of praise.
The standout performance by Delphine ChanÃ©ac as Dren really has to be respected. Having very little to compare her performance with, I say her ability to seduce the viewer into her lair only to turn into something we all revile, but still have empathy for is the proof that great performers like ChanÃ©ac are often overlooked in films that showcase big names in them. If there is one deficit with the film, it is that Dren is used more in an almost erotic manner than in the sadistic manner that her creature truly should convey.
“Splice” gets Four of Five Stars for originality and solid performances.