Saturday, July 31, 2010

Splice

Made by the director of Cube but using a much bigger budget, Splice is sci-fi horror movie set in the near future when genetic engineering and in vitro gestation are a bit further advanced on current state of the art. Elsa Kast and Clive Nicoli are bio-engineers working at the Nucleic Exchange Research and Development lab (part of the research division of pharmaceutical company Newstead Pharma). N.E.R.D. focuses on gene splicing and protein production. Proteins that will have pharmacological uses. Their initial success is a slug like creature made from the DNA of 6 or 8 different species. Not satisfied with that they want to move onto using human DNA to create a creature that will produce proteins to be used in even more useful drugs.

Unfortunately their law suit averse and bottom line focused management want profits from the existing creature, rather than spend their money on a new creature. You should be able to see where this is going. Unlike Cube this is not a cerebral sci-fi thriller, rather an update on ideas from Frankenstein and The Fly. Aimed at sci-fi and horror fans, there is even a lab scene stolen straight from Alien. It is all quite stylishly done, even if the plot becomes extremely predictable and clich├ęd in the final few scenes, it still had alternating shock and humour that got the loudest audience reaction at this year's film festival.

The lead characters keep our sympathy in a way that most mad scientist characters don't, and the creature itself gradually acquires a personality. The only downside was the lack of inventiveness in the plot.

Ian's rating 4/5

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