Starring: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chanéac
Directed by: Vincenzo Natali
Screenplay: Vincenzo Natali, Antoinette Terry Bryant
Released: 29 November 2010
Duration: 104 minutes
Format: Blu-ray and DVD
Vincenzo Natali is the Canadian born writer/director The Cube (1997) which was a low budget (about quarter million Canadian dollars) film about a group of people trapped in a cube. It was an excellent film. Natali went onto make Cypher for around $7M and then was obviously given the chance at a much larger budget ($30M) with Splice.
Splice is an inventive, horror-sci-fi-thriller, with a few recognisable actors in Brody and Polley (as genetic scientists Clive Nicoli and Elsa Kast) and it’s clear that there was plenty of money spent on the creature effects which are very good. Delphine Chanéac is excellent as Dren, although Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley’s roles really could have been filled by anyone and money was certainly wasted on employing them as ‘big name’ actors. It’d have been better as a film starring lesser well known actors.
An interesting talking point that came up from this film for me was that intelligent people (as far as this film is concerned) certainly don’t make better parents that less intelligent people, Clive and Elsa are bloody terrible! Clive unsurprisingly ends up having sex with Dren while Elsa (although clearly damaged by her own childhood) is a terrible, aggressive mother.
I was really hopeful for this film. I was expecting a cleverly written and strongly acted movie. The writing is good although flawed in places and the direction is fairly solid but Brody and Polley are just average. I thought that Polley was very good in some of her other films and although I think Brody is seriously odd and thus makes some very weird acting and performance choices I still think that he may have some talent buried somewhere, but it’s not on show here.
Splice was really not what I was hoping for, it just falls a bit flat at times, and the first half drags a little, before things get more exciting towards the end, but I still think it was an interesting film and it’s not put me off watching anything else by Natali in the future who I believe is a very talented writer/director.