Saw this movie this evening with a buddy, review follows:
(Nudity, Language, Violence.)
My Grade: C+
Splice is a somewhat unique movie, unique in that it "splices" together movies like "Alien", "Species" and a number of other sci-fi/"horror" movies to sort-of make its own thing. It pulls it off but only sorta. The movie carries out pretty much in "three" acts which, yeah, all movies do but the three acts are only vaguely connected and get progressively worse.
There will be some, mild, spoilers ahead.
Splice begins with the camera zooming around some vague internal body components/cells until finally the creature we're in is "born" to two masked doctors/genetic scientists. They apparently gave their creature a single tunnel-visioned fish-eye-lens eye. Genetic Engineering can make creatures so awesome!
It seems or "hero scientists" are dabbling in genetics for some Big Corporation, they're splicing together the genes from multiple animals to make a "new "animal" that'll have traits and genes that could cure and/or correct many diseases and genetic defects. They've already made a female creature and have just birthed the male. Both creatures look like, well, they look like penises. The newly birthed one even "sicks up" out of its urethral opening/mouth with a fluid that, well... doesn't look like puke given how this creature looks. Anyway, they hope the two creatures will mate and being to propagate a species of blobish penises. Genetic engineering is wonderful.
But BigCo. is tired of spending money on the project and won't give the scientists played by Adrien Brody (who've I've never bought as an actor let alone a scientist capable of splicing together genes) and Sarah Polley permission to make more or even take the next step; making a humanoid creature that'll piss of people who don't like tampering in God's domain.
Adrien and Sarah are in a relationship together and Sarah ultimately convinces Adrien to go along with her and make their human/animal abomination on the side. (No points for guessing who donates the human component.) There's some tinkering on the computer in finding out which combinations work best and viola
they've made their creature. At first it seems the intend to just take the embryo-tic cell and freeze it but Sarah pulls an ambush and puts in their magical womb machine, giving birth to it. Simply saying they'll study it for a short while then kill it.
It seems that splicing together all of the genes made a new deus ex machina
gene in it and it grows at an accelerated rate, it birth itself in a semi-embryo-tic state and continues to develop outside of the womb. At first they try and kill it but Sarah bonds with it and decides to raise it in secret in the lab's basement. The thing develops into a child and eventually a teenage girl.
The creature is fairly well done in the effects and makeup department. The adolescent form of it is that of Ilia with chicken legs, a prehensile tail with a stinger in it, four fingers hairless and has a babyish, innocent looking face.
This is pretty much where our first act, the most interesting act ends as Adrian and Sarah are forced to move the creature they've named "Dren" (An anagram of "Nerd" the name of lab they were working in) to the abandoned farm from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Like all abandoned farms this one still has electricity and running water. Dren has now mostly fully developed, speaks mostly in clicks and squeals, has sprouted bat-like wings and has taken a vested interest in Adrien (leading us to a huge, disturbing, WTF scene.)
The second acts plods along with some interesting bits but mostly becomes about them "raising" Dren whom they've pretty much treated now as a child/pet. Their actions kind of dance back in forth on how the treat and even between the characters. (At first Adrien wants to kill it and Sarah has imprinted with it but eventually their roles swap for no apparent reason.)
The third act devolves into horror nonsense as Dren has entered a third stage of her development and is now killing people. Despite being raised, mostly, in a loving way.
The effects are decent, though the phallic/graboid creatures are corny looking but I really disliked the final act as it just sort of seemed cliched. It tries to explain it away from an earlier scene but it doesn't work and, for me, doesn't follow what came before.
It's a fairly well done and chilling movie in some scenes and I'd say it's worth seeing but not sure I'd rush out to see it in the theaters. Probably worth a rental, however. If the movie had kept up the interest they built-up in the first act with the science stuff and the development of Dren and not gone into some of the bureaucratic stuff, the home-life stuff and then the cliched ending it would've been much better. Oh, and Sarah's ambiguous back-story of having mother issues didn't work for me either.