Splice treads a very fine line between a serious science fiction film and a B-movie monster thriller. It could have worked as one of the other but both styles do not mix as smoothly as one would like.
The film tells the story of Clive and Elsa (Played by Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley respectively), two scientists with romantic feelings towards one another, as they try to create a/clone a hybrid animal that could produce a protein capable of curing cancer. For a serious Sci-Fi film this premise alone bears tremendous potential. And as you would expect, the scientists in such a film have little to know sense of morality and a tendency to play God, so when the pharmaceutical company funding the research wants to shut down the experiment, Elsa decides to go ahead and add human DNA into the mix for one last experiment. What comes out is Dren, a Na’vi / chicken looking girl with big googly eyes for cuteness and a nasty scorpion like tail for the scare factor. Feeling a little bit like new parents, Clive and Elsa decide to raise the monster as their child/pet even when it is obvious to everyone that the creature is dangerous. As time passes the scientists become quite attached to their “child”. Clive teaches Dren how to dance while Elsa dresses her up and puts make up on her as if the monster where her childhood doll for the most part forgetting that Dren can kill them with a single sting.
Up until this point the film is as serious and bold as Sci Fi can get. But then the film takes a 180 degree turn when Dren reaches her “teenage” stage and develops some serious daddy issues, things get kinda goofy, kinda scary, and kinda disturbing. The film's third act is like every third act in a Hollywood movie, action packed and predictable. But although this is a cliche, the third act works brilliantly in its own B-movie style. It remains scary, fun, nauseating, and literally takes a bold step where no theatrically released movie has dared to go (there is an unrated cut somewhere around here that will surely be released as the DVD). But because this ending is still a cliche the film is likely to be enjoyed the most by the hardcore fans of B-movie monster thrillers than the snobbier Sci Fi crowd.
Technically speaking the film is at a decent average, just what b-movies required but well bellow the requirement for Sci Fi. It achieves a decent amount of success thanks to good cinematography and directing, that by playing a good homage to Alien & Aliens reminds us why we are afraid of needles and bugs with stingers. The effects and make up used to create Dren are quite good until the final adult stage, which I didn't really buy, But Delphine Chalneac's acting in make up through out the film makes up for this. You know getting into that makeup required hours of laborious pain to make it work and anything short of her acting would have been detrimental. Further more it really helps for the other actors have someone to play against rather than following a marker along a green screen. As for Brody's and Polley's acting the give their best with the terrible dialogue they were given.
Over all Splice is a decent film conceived through a great idea that was not entirely carried out to its full potential. B-horror fans will probably love it but everyone else would likely be better off watching a different film they can take their kids and girlfriends to. I can guarantee they will not be comfortable watching this.