Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Splice (2009) Review

Splice (2009)
Directed By: Vincenzo Natali

Scientists Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody) and Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley) are on the brink of curing some of the world’s deadliest diseases by combining a variety of creatures DNA, but their work has come to a standstill as their employer wants to concentrate on making protein pills from the DNA, but the scientists want to continue and mix human DNA, and the results are far worse than they expected…

When I finished watching Splice I decided I have never watched a movie that was so disturbing, disgusting, revolting, but at the same time, ‘mind-blowingly’ fascinating to watch. I say this due to the creature, Dren (Delphine Chaneac), she is the final result of a collection of animals and human DNA mixed together, and the her story is portrayed so well.

Of course, like most movies, they give a story to the audience, in Splice, it comes down to family, it shows how some can have family problems dwelling inside them, in this case the main protagonist that has these problems is Elsa Kast, who we believe has had an abusive childhood, and she wants to do everything she can to not be the same mother her mother was to her, but this movie proves that the more you try to move away from something, you could end up doing the complete opposite, and unfortunately Elsa does show signs of her mother inside herself.
While Elsa is trying not to be her mother, Clive is trying to do the best he can not to get into trouble, Clive and Elsa clash a lot through this movie, especially at the begining of Dren's birth, he believes it's best to dispose of Dren, and he comes close when he attempts to drown her, until we have the huge twist of growing gills, which Elsa finds shocking that Clive 'knew' and he even lies to cover his tracks from his true intentions, which shows how much Elsa loves Dren to avoid the fact her 'father' almost killed her, Elsa is willing to let it go and continue looking after Dren. Clive throughout the movie slowly progresses to accepting Dren as a part of their trio, maybe not so much as a daughter, but he can see Elsa within her, which inevitably leads him to loving Dren to the extent of them making love on the barn floor until Elsa catches him, and finally they both have to confront their issues and problems which have been lying deep for a while throughout the movie.
“Splice isn't just horror or science fiction. It is a film about parenting, portrayed in an ingeniously unfamiliar way as just another form of genetic experimentation. “
As you can imagine these two scientist raise this creature as their own, thus showing their own Frankenstein creature, which both characters were named as a homage to the movie Frankenstein’s Bride.
“With its quirky, tragi-comic tone, the film Splice most resembles is Bride Of Frankenstein (1935). It can hardly be a coincidence that the leading characters' names are Elsa, surely named after Elsa Lanchester, who played the title character, and Clive, after Colin Clive, who played Frankenstein. 

I found the creature design in the movie very interesting also, mainly because the first two monsters we see, Fred and Ginger, look like blob creatures with a small amount of bone structure, then we are presented with Dren, who is exactly the same, but only with human DNA present, its interesting the differences the creators chose. They also show antennas on Dren when she is a young creature, then she slowly looses them, which can be seen as metamorphism, a lot like her wings, which we dont know she has until much later in the movie, similar with her gills. One thing Dren never fails to do is surprise, which I think helps the audience in keeping entertained.

What I found most refreshing about this movie is to show what scientists are capable if they have free roam, it’s great to see a director not afraid to push the audiences limit and give them a film that requires intellectual engagment.
Not only that, is but the director is more than happy to show the scientists having sex with the creatures, I could imagine a lot of directors shying away from a oppotunity like this, but it made the movie (aside from the mutant creatures) a lot more believable. Dren as a whole is portrayed perfectly, when she is female, we see her actions resemble the animals she is mixed with, from her head tilts which are bird like, to her agility which is taken from her horse aspects; and when she is male and rapes Elsa, we see Dren acting like an animal, he’s not enjoying it, its his primal instinct to mate and populate, he takes no hesitation in the act.

"Meanwhile, as Dren, Delphine Chaneac is both creepy, and unsettlingly attractive in an androgynous, freaky way. While she's no Natasha Henstridge style sex bomb a la SPECIES, the character is still made attractive enough to make you understand that the scientists could grow attached, and even attracted to it (although the wings and legs might be A BIT of a turn off).

To conclude this is a master piece when scientists play against God, I do love the fact that a lot of the movie secretly reflects Elsa, it gives the movie a lot more depth, im sure this will be one of my favourite movies for a long time.

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