Clive (Adrien Brody) and his girlfriend, Elsa (Sarah Polley), are heading up an advanced genetic splicing project that if successful will enable them to achieve plenty of scientific breakthroughs that can have some profound real world applications in the field of pharmaceuticals. Clive & Elsa taste initial success with their "creation" (a slug like monstrosity) but when a public appearance goes horribly wrong they are denied permission to go ahead with the next step i.e. the introduction of human DNA into the project. Elsa is clearly the types to be unfazed by this restriction and chooses to go ahead anyways and even arm-twists the meek Clive into helping her create a "super womb" that gives birth to Dren, which initially looks like a bastardised rabbit but soon grows rapidly to take human form. When older Dren turns into an attractive young thing that has a tail with a stinger and with the process of evolution going into overdrive it acquires wings and even a neat little surprise late into the film. With Dren's rapid aging she struggles with her hormones and soon enough develops a crush on Clive which leads to more than its share of complicated situations. Elsa and Clive realise the gravity of their creation only when Dren starts to display extreme violence. But is it too late for them to stop their creation?
The movie is filled with so many themes about creation that comparisons to Frankenstein are inevitable. Even the pointers towards an incestuous relationship are quite evident. The ethics of "playing god" are nicely put across without sounding preachy.
The one problem I did find with the movie was the ending, which chose to resolve matters by brawn rather than the brain. For a movie which maintains its level of intelligence throughout quite diligently the need to end on a horror/thriller creature hunt was little underwhelming since the part has nothing truly exciting to distinguish itself. There are also certain sections during the middle where the pace slackens.
The effects are top-notch and the design of Dren is enchanting yet somehow frightening at the same time; though her evolution as the movie progresses could have been done much more logically rather than in a quick-beat reactionary fashion.
The acting is competent enough but nothing really to write home about. Delphine Chaneac is good in certain parts and excludes menace and sexuality with equal ease below a child-like playful exterior.
'Splice' raises some important questions about bio-ethics and also supplements it with worthy horror-thriller elements. If only the pace had been tighter and the ending more intellectual, this would have been a must watch. As it stands it's a pretty good watch in its own right.view less