The Horror Honeys: She Is Not Supposed To Exist

She Is Not Supposed To Exist

A Sci-Fi Honey Review

Splice (2009)

Splice is a Canadian (woo!) sci-fi horror starring Sarah Polley (also Canadian) and Adrian Brody (not Canadian, but highly likeable nonetheless). It’s directed by Vincenzo Natali (Partly Canadian!) who also directed Cube, a (Canadian) movie I thought was just OK. Polley and Brody play a young scientist couple, Elsa and Clive, who are working for a pharmaceutical company called N.E.R.D. (Nucleic Exchange Research and Development). 

They are looking to become famous through experimenting with a pair of some kind of worm-dog thing they’ve created by splicing various animal DNA together, and which N.E.R.D. plans
to unveil very publicly to show what an amazing company they are. After all, what could possibly go wrong with unveiling two new creatures that have been studied for a relatively short time??

WTF

Despite warnings by N.E.R.D. (I love typing that, can you tell?) our rebellious science couple plan to up the DNA ante by making a human hybrid, because hey, what could go wrong, and FAMOUS! Out pops a cute little muffin of an alien-looking thing that makes cute noises, and how can you possibly kill a cute little creature like that and it’s growing like a weed isn’t it? Next thing you know you have yourself a moral conundrum and an adorable and rapidly ageing little alien weirdo that has a stabby tail, and WTF do you do now? The movie follows Elsa and Clive as they deal with Dren (the Alien baby/teenager/woman/other) and the assorted moral and legal and ethical and other complexities that come along with her.

Daaawwwww How could you kill this cute little *STAB*
As a rule, anything Sarah Polley does is a-ok by me, I love her work. Adrian Brody is also great here. I really liked the complexity of the situation; Polley’s character Elsa is clearly working out some biological clock issues, and her coworker/boyfriend Clive is very NOT ok with her growing attachment to Dren and wants to end the experiment. Splice raises interesting moral/ethical questions – Dren is an experiment yes, but also human-ish, are you ending the experiment or murdering someone? Is all knowledge good, or are there things science just shouldn’t do? It also touches on the subject of fame, and how far some people will go to get it, a concept we are all very familiar with in this age of Snookie and the Kardashians.

No mommy-issues here...nope nope nope
On the other hand though, about three quarters of the way through, this movie kind of went off the rails for me, and got a bit David Cronenberg-ian. I’m trying not to give the ending away, but I’ll just say that there was some… interpersonal interaction (ahem) and the ick factor was pretty high, and while I appreciate that it does drive home the general wrongness of the entire situation, it want a bit too far for my taste. 

INAPPROPRIATE

Sci-Fi Honey lowdown: Splice is a complicated movie. The acting is great – with Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley how could it not be? The character of Dren is well done, I thought the effects were good and so was the acting by Delphine Cheniac. The story was interesting, and at first I really liked it, but to be honest I wasn’t really a fan of the last section of the movie. I think the ‘interpersonal interaction’ sections in the last part of the movie made it a bit…creepy? I went from appreciating the movie to a bit of an eye-roll and kind of had the urge to shut it off. 

I like the way it dealt with complex issues, Sarah Polley always makes smart movies. I just think the ending weakened it. 

Sci-Fi Honey rating:  3.5 stabby-tailed adorable little aliens in a dress out of 5. 


Final note to Science: Maybe leave the stabby animal DNA out of the experiment next time, and put in something cuddlier. Just a thought. 

Ok, maybe not...