Genetic Horror Story

Created by Vincenzo Natali, director of sci fi sleeper hit ‘Cube’ and produced by aficionado of all things sinister Guillermo del Toro, ‘Splice’ is a cautionary tale in the Frankenstein mould. If the monster classic had been made by Cronenberg that is. The story deals with questions of medical ethics and individual responsibility in the face of new scientific methods. As premises go it's an intelligent one, even if the finished product looks like it may not quite live up to the hype.

Elsa and Clive are two eager research bio geneticists (played Sarah Polley and Adrian Brody respectively) who defy their lab superiors by instigating a secret experiment, which ‘splices’ together human and animal DNA; with unexpected and ultimately disastrous results.

The humanoid chimera they create is named ‘Dren’, a strangely beautiful yet monstrous creature who develops into an ‘adult’ with unnatural speed in addition to some startling abilities. Whilst Clive is quick to realise the error of their ways and tries to persuade Elsa that they have made a terrible mistake, she has developed a complex maternal relationship with the creature, which makes termination seem like an unpalatable option.

It’s easy to see how this film could go either way; it’s received very mixed reviews from recent film festival audiences. On the one hand it could be a unintentionally comedic splatter fest or equally, a powerful meditation on science and the complex ethical issues and consequences surrounding genetic research. You’ll just have to watch and make up your own mind.

Splice has yet to receive a UK release date but is expected to hit screens in June.


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