Science Fiction and horror are often times combined in Hollywood. These two genres work so well together because of the endless possibilities. Splice recognizes the possibilities that go along with a plot like this and creates a completely original story. Of course, the whole idea of “scientists playing god” wasn’t new when this was made but there’s plenty of other ingredients that this film offers up that’s new. While I felt, by the end, that they didn’t go quite as far as they could have, I still think they ended up being successful overall.
One of the great things Splice sports is Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody. Brody is very talented and while I’ve never followed him and have only seen a couple of his films, I recognize his immense talent from the small amount I have seen. He does very well here, striking a balance between a loving boyfriend and a scientist with an increasing sense of anxiety. Polley stands out more than Brody because of the larger role her character plays in the film. She is the one that ultimately decides to start this whole experiment, therefore she becomes a lot more attached and invested, especially in the beginning. I really loved the way she played her role. Not only does she play a likable lead, but one that you can somewhat relate to. I can understand her wanting to see what would happen and then becoming ultra invested in something you created.
Having both of the leads be likable and relatable is a huge plus with a film like this. If I don’t care about the lead characters or if I feel like they deserve what’s coming, then it’s not going to be that good of an experience. Polley and Brody have great chemistry too, you believe they’re in this together.
The writing is fairly average overall, although I will say that some of the details of the screenplay are able to lift above average towards the end. The final act throws some interesting curveballs that I appreciated because it brought the horror to the forefront. Taking something that seems loving or beautiful and revealing the true terror is very chilling. Chilling is the exact feeling I hoped the ending would elicit, leave you with a haunting feeling. What’s great is that the ending not only succeeds in being chilling but also gets kind of deep.
By deep, I mean the relationship between Polley and Brody’s characters. I like how the filmmakers left things. There’s a lot Splice gets right and I commend it for those things, but there are a couple pitfalls here, unfortunately. The main complaint I have is the middle portion of the film. Things stall a tad in the middle and while there’s some interesting details in that time, the horror deflates to an extent. Because of that, I felt a little bit apathetic until things started to pick up again. I wish Splice lived up to it’s full potential and didn’t somewhat drop the ball in its second act. I felt there was plenty of room for more original ideas and that the filmmakers just kind of settled. I don’t want to discredit this film because it does introduce some interesting ideas, I just felt there was an extra mile that wasn’t taken.
Splice is a worthy choice for this genre because of its talented leads and original ideas. While there was room for them to take things further and build upon what was interesting and make it even more intriguing, what they ended up giving us is still entertaining and leaves you with a chilling/deep feeling.
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