Splice - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Splice Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 10, 2010
It is frustrating to see such a fantastic idea and amazing development lead to a disappointing ending. The whole film builds as an intelligent and compelling sci-fi drama until Vincenzo Natali finally decides in the last fifteen minutes that it should be in fact a stupid horror story.
Super Reviewer
August 31, 2009
Entertaining albeit stupid genetic experiment thriller that can't decide how it wants to make the audience feel about its creature. The somewhat lousy special effects do not exactly help creating a connection to the "monster". Another problem are the characters that range from idiotic, flat to downright unlikable. So overall everything that happens makes you feel entirely indifferent.
Super Reviewer
½ May 1, 2010
A pair of genetic biologists succeed in splicing the DNA of various creatures with that of a human being and the resulting life form begins to take over their lives as they try to hide their secret experiment. Splice is very much in the old "mad scientists play God and reap the consequences" school of horror stories, giving the Frankenstein formula a modern sci-fi spin. In fact the story interestingly stays away from the man makes monster idea for the early stages, preferring David Cronenberg style psychological horror, particularly during the rather disturbing Mommie Dearest sequence and when the bizarre sexual ambiguity of their creation becomes apparent. Disappointingly it soon settles back into the usual creature feature for an overly predictable finale which is a shame because it was actually starting to explore some interesting ideas. The production design is a little suspect (baby Dren looks suspiciously like an oven ready chicken with a rabbit's head) but Brody and Polley are as watchable as always and it's weird enough to maintain the attention for the duration, but it's nowhere near as inventive as Prometheus which covered a lot of the same ground.
Super Reviewer
August 5, 2012
I enjoyed the idea of the story. It certainly does present problems that exist with genetic research. Although the details leave a bit to be desired. The business that a stick through the heart does not kill you, but a rock smashed on your head does is fancy writing. But never might its shortfalls, watch the movie.
Super Reviewer
½ March 29, 2012
Disturbingly good. I remember the sick feeling watching the film through, it is sick, but something keeps your attention still, however disturbing. I don't know if I want to watch it again, then again I want to.
Super Reviewer
½ June 6, 2010
Mixing together bits of Species, with the films of both David Cronenberg and James Whale, this is Vincenzo Natali's fun little sci-fi thriller variation on the "playing God with science" theme. The story concerns a duo of scientists named Elsa and Clive who splice together strands of DNA from various creatures in order to make hybrids creations that might hopefully prove beneficial to mankind.

Everything gets out of hand when their latest experiment has some human DNA spliced in, something not previously tested. The result is a fascinating human/creature hybrid the pair name Dren whom they not only study, but try to treat as if she were their own kid.

Despite not being entirely original, there's some really neat ideas and good stuff here, and, espeically with Elsa's character, there's some great character development and psychologicla exploration. Things are good, but I think they could have been better had the time been taking to really fully develop and explore Dren's psyche and what she thinks, feels, etc.

Things start off well enough, but do start to decline as the film heads into typical horror territory. Thankfully though, this is just during the final 20 minutes or so. Even then, I think they could have done a lot more with the concept, which would have bumped up the score a bit more.

All in all though, this is a fun and thought provoking little sci-fi creature feature. The effects are decent, as is the concept, but in neither case is there a lot of groundbreaking stuff going on. This is pretty competantly made, and never boring though, so that's cool.

The acting's not bad, but nothing brilliant. Well, maybe just a little. Deplhine Chaneac is awesome as Dren, and it's cool that they got her to shave her head for the role. Plus, almost all of the performance relies on facial expressions, body language, and mannerisms, and doing this with (but especially without) words can be hard at times, so well done. Sarah Polley is good as Elsa, and Adrien Brody is fine as Clive, but they're both just passable and unfortunately not mroe.

So yeah, overall, I do give this a mild recommendation, because it is neat. It's uneven and a slight mess, but thanks to a few WTF moments and some nice in jokes and references, I think there's enough good stuff here to warrant a mild passing grade. Straight B.
Directors Cat
Super Reviewer
December 23, 2011
I'll admit Splice is not for everyone, but I think thats because pure horror fans just cant stand the moral values this movie touches upon. The genius basic set up is: sci fi's, horror's, thriller's and of course; drama's taken to the next level. Without a doubt, Vincenzo's best film. It's much smarter than your average horror movie and it succeeds in trying to be something different. It maintains a brutally dark and chilling atmosphere and combines or ("splices") the codes of what you'd expect from it's genre with staggering heartwrenching drama and even a bit of innocence wonderfully inspired by Frankenstein. Which is a similar parent and child story that's now considered a horror classic.
Super Reviewer
½ May 24, 2010
A hardcore, gross science fiction tale concerning a married couple of scientists (Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley) who run a secret operation of splicing human DNA with animal DNA, and create a monster they name Dren (Delphine Chaneac) who they begin to see as the child they both desire to have together. Natali is a talented director ("Cube", a little seen indie-gem, proved this), but here he gets a bigger budget and better, capable actors to bring his project to life. The results are an engrossing scientific debate concerning the aspects of cloning and what is "human", as well as a solid satire on the nature of parenting. It is due to both Brody and Polley that this movie excels in being so well done, as their performances help us believe in the importance of a subject like this. It does go off the rails a bit in the last 10-15 minutes, but that does not keep it from being a good, Cronenberg-esque exercise in the grotesque and disturbing nature of experiments gone wrong.
Super Reviewer
½ November 28, 2011
Clive Nicoli: Why the fuck did you make her in the first place? Huh? For the betterment of mankind? You never wanted a normal child because you were afraid of losing control. 

"She's Not Human... Not Entirely."

I had heard both good and bad things about Splice, so I really didn't know what to expect. With movies like this, there is a line between what would make it great and what would make it horrible. It crossed the line to horrible many times, but also managed to not be nearly as bad as it could have been.

Two scientists use human DNA to create a hybrid creature. The creature lives through the pregnancy, which the two didn't believe it would. Then they see that the creature is growing rapidly, so they decide to let it live and see what happens. Now I know what you're thinking; these types of experiments always go well, but you're in for a shock because this one doesn't. The woman then takes a liking to the creature and has a weird mother/pet owner relationship with it. You can never really tell how the man feels about it. The two are forced to hide the creature from the world because what they did was illegal.

The film has some extremely awkward and weird scenes. It also features two of the most odd sex scenes you will ever see. Also, Brody's character has am extremely weird scene where he teaches the creature to dance. The weirdness of the movie isn't what made me dislike it though. What made me dislike it was how it was put together.

Sarah Polley was deplorable in her role. God, I can't describe how bad her performance truly was. Brody was okay, not his best, but a movie like this doesn't really bring out the best in an actors performance. Then Polley was also forced to utter some ridiculous and just plain awful dialogue. The movie still manages to be interesting and it had me watching the whole time. It's just an interesting bad movie and when it comes to bad movies, those are the best kind.
Super Reviewer
October 29, 2011
Once you get past all the DNA and scientific stuff (first 45 Min), it turns out to be a ok movie. nothing special, but worth a red box rental. 3 stars.
Super Reviewer
September 4, 2011
In spite of some awesome CGI and earnest lead performances that tried to make this film a serious bit of contemplative "what if" this film just couldn't help but fall into conventional horror film hokum.

For all that the script tried valiantly to explain the scientist's motivations - which worked very well for the first half of the film - the film still fell into the big "aha" stupid tag ending trap that you could see coming from 1,000 miles away - arrgh! why does Hollywood insist on wrapping up everything with a nice shiny bow? It's shlock and has no purpose unless the studio was thinking sequel.

Underneath the horror angle of the test tube creation, there is a strong tale of want and desire, where, without any moral conscience those needs are acted upon regardless of cause and effect - to the detriment of all concerned - and we're not just talking about the creation either - the female scientist has her own interest in the survival of her creation, as it has been infused with her own DNA.

The film is actually pretty good as a shock type horror film (of course the genre per force lowers the bar pretty low) - but it attempted to be something more and by doing so became less. In the end, in spite of the creative motivation for keeping the creature alive (see above paragraph) - it still all came off a bit pat - and I suppose that the real motivation should have sufficed: the scientists, like me, were curious concerning what would happen as the creature matured. That should have been enough; there was no need for the female scientist to keep flipping back and forth between concerned parent and detached scientist - it played false and once again served no purpose other than to expose the fact that the director's vision was a cloudy one.
Super Reviewer
January 22, 2011
One of the most disturbing film experiences in recent memory.
Super Reviewer
April 14, 2010
28/05/2011 (DVD)

A good night time flick. It's not boring but I did think it would be more entertaining. Anyhow it did turn out to have an interesting conclusion which you can work out before it happens.

A bizarre, deviant liking of alien/mutant sexual nature puzzled me, shouldn't I be disgusted? I guess I wanted to see results like a supernatural baby, who knows? Maybe I just liked it.

A watchable sci-fi that didn't bore me.
Super Reviewer
½ June 11, 2010
Reinventing the subject of tinkering with life and death, this freshly original take on creatures conjured by man, with none of the consideration it takes to create new species, and the subsequent consequences. Much like a Frankenstein film, we start off in the field of science, geneticists Clive and Elsa (named after characters from The Bride of Frankenstein) who are in a long term relationship and squabble over having children, create a new species of spliced animal genes culminating in two fairly disgusting bags of pus, leading to synthesizing different compounds to be produced into drugs for the company they work for. With high ambition the pair create the same experiment with a splice of human DNA. The ensuing panic over the project progresses with the raising of the creature, slightly human but also amphibian, avian, and when born has somewhat of a feline presence, with a set of whiskers on the end of its snout. The subject named Dren grows rapidly, and becomes intellectually sound, but its capabilities and what its life means to both the scientific community and the lives of her creators is an amalgamation throughout the film. It becomes evident that Elsa forms a quick maternal bond to Dren, and raises her as a little girl, putting her in dresses and giving her toys and trinkets. The storyline is situated on the shoulders of the developing relationships amongst the three, primarily the mother-daughter complex, and the inner thoughts of Clive, who seems removed from the experiment and is trying to keep their tampering with nature to a minimum. Although there are parental components, there is also bubbling sexuality and temperament as Dren develops, and the always lingering question as to whether she is simply a new being, or an experiment gone very wrong. I'm not sure the sexual aspect was completely necessary, or that the ending was justified, but I truly enjoyed the drama that enfolded before me, and the aesthetic of the art direction and visual effects. It can be judged, but will always be revered, it's that simple.
Super Reviewer
August 17, 2011
Vincenzo Natali proves once again that you don't need a big budget or even a big cast to make a really good horror film. All you need is a good idea, good characters, some fucked-up imagery and a good team to make it happen. This movie's premise s rich and dense for interpretation: is it an indictment of careless parents, or of irresponsible sexual habits? Is it anti-pharmacology or anti-genetic manipulation? Oh man, there's so much to play with. The role of villain in this movie is a rather slippery one, with it very seldom resting on the monster herself. I love every character in this movie, and they're all operating in a moral grey zone through which my sympathies as the viewer slid freely. Clive and Elsa are a facinating pair: with similar goals that clash in the realm of method, and who both get way ahead of themselves, and dig themselves a deeper and deeper grave. "We'll just do this, then we'll end it." "It's almost over, so we can deal with this." Through thier youthful hubris and misplaced sense of experimentation, little by little the situation gets furthur out of control until the climax. It's fascinating, and tragic and frustrating, and all driven by relateable characters with understandable and realistic, if maddeningly invalid, motivations. I love this movie! Characters get punished not for irrationality or callous behaviour, but for inattentiveness and irresponsibility. I think that's a terrific ethical core for a horror/scifi film.
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2011
Started off very well. Introduced and developed to a good standard however as soon as Clive and Dren got down to it, the film was ruined. It was very distastful and gross to watch. All 3 sex scenes seemed indulgent and gratuitous and very unneeded. They didn't look real and were completely unbelieveable. Even Clive and Elsa looked like they were stabbing each other. The end was left very open for a sequel and one can only wonder who's the daddy.
Super Reviewer
½ May 31, 2011
Grade: C- (71%)

Splice is an interesting sci-fi horror film to say the least. Now the story is full of absurdity but how the movie succeeds is that it is absurd and its goal is to give the audiences an interesting ride. It succeeds . . . even if the two main characters (mainly the Elsa) are out of their f-ing minds.

Clive (Academy Award Winner Adrien Brodey) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) are two scientists who are trying to breed new species with different parts of DNA from other species around the world. One day, they create a new species that seems to have human structures and breathe underwater and can jump really high, run fast . . . . and well you get the idea. This thing they call "Dren" begins to become their child as they feed it, teach it to spell, dress it, and basically everything else a growing man or woman needs.

Splice is definitely a different movie than I thought it would be. I thought it would be a experiment going completely wrong, characters take shotguns and blow it to pieces and people die in the process. Well besides a small part of mayhem, Splice isn't that type of film at all. This showed a human and alien relationship that we haven't seen recently. And no it is not like E.T. at all . . . . when you see the movie, you'll understand.

Some parts of the film was just weird and awkward that really made me question Mr. Brodey's and Ms. Polley's acting careers and how they got to this point. I mean seriously how can Adrien be funny but do this stuff all at once?

Splice is a good film. Not as horrifying as I thought it would be and not as weird as I thought it would be either. But having said that, Splice is a worthy film to watch just don't think it is a normal horror film, you will be disappointed and bored.
Super Reviewer
May 11, 2011
Splice is a big sci-fi sundae with lots of dullness, plenty of creepiness and a whole mess of incestuous mutant sex/rape sprinkles. The problem with Splice is that I'm not sure it could've been good. It raises ethical questions, had some reasonably impressive leads but doesn't really go anywhe--why did Adrien Brody do it with the creature? I mean, she's got ostrich legs covered with human flesh and she looked like a bald supermodel with Down Syndrome. For as much of a wackadoo as Sarah Polley's character was in this movie is giving it to a chirping dinosaur girl a viable alternative? The bloodbath presentation was amusing but afterward the movie went from limbo to hell. And the ending was awful.
Super Reviewer
½ September 11, 2010
Kinda weird. Definitely original. It was a good story, but they took it in a strange direction. It had a good concept, a fine cast, and would otherwise have been a successfully realized sci fi drama if it hadn't descended into the "awe hell no!" territory towards the end. Literally. But, that being said, it was definitely interesting.
Super Reviewer
May 23, 2010
Wouldn't rave over it, but it was okay to watch once. Was a little creepy to start with, but kind of got dumber as it went along, and by the end I wasn't really liking it anymore. I really didn't like the way the story worked out with Dren and Elsa, without saying too much, that set up the ending. That to me was quite gross considering they shared the same DNA. There's horror, and then there's gross out - this one trod the thin line between and crossed it.
I usually like Sarah Polley,but I didn't find her all that convincing here - actually, I didn't find any of them all that convincing. There was just something a bit off with the whole story. As for Dren herself, I was surprised to find she is actually played by Delphine Chaneac (who? Hmm.. don't think this one will kick start her career for her) - I actually thought Dren was all CG!
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