From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Splice - B

Rated R for disturbing elements including strong sexuality, nudity, sci-fi violence and language, 104 minutes

"Splice" is scary, unpredictable and unsettling fun

"Splice" may surprise you in more ways than one. The horror film wants to raise some tricky moral and ethical questions about science and DNA, but really it's a decent, scary film with a handful of nice jumps and some excellent special effects.

The Canadian production from "Cube" director Vincenzo Natali and starring fellow Canadian Sarah Polley and Oscar-winner Adrien Brody, it's about a pair of scientists Elsa and Clive (Polley and Brody) who are experimenting with splicing human and animal DNA. By accident they create an unusual creature they call "Dren" who appears to be a human female but also has animal characteristics such as wings and the ability to hunt down and eat their prey, in case humans. As Dren grows at a fantastic rate, they realize the danger of their experiment and that they shouldn't have played Mother Nature.

A fantastic, intelligent horror film that's well-acted, well-written and well-paced. It's a little heavy-handed at times and the second act in particular is heavily flawed, but as a scary, jumpy horror film it works very nicely. The special effects are first-rate, scary and add more to the film than you might think. The first half is by far the better part and conjurs up memories of that nasty creature from "Alien," except this one has the ability to communicate.

The finale, like much of the film, is meant to shock and in many ways it does. It blurrs the line between reality and science-fiction, but still entertains along the way. Polley and Brody make for a good team and director and writer Natali has crafted a horror film that's just as disturbing as say, "Rosemary's Baby." Entertaining, unsettling, "Splice" succeeds most in its disquieting tone. Definitely recommended for horror enthusiasts.