Maybe I’m slow on the uptake. Or maybe I just missed the point. But I didn’t start laughing at Splice until about halfway through. Until then, I was watching it as though it was a regular bit of Sci-Fi Creature Feature hokum and was largely disappointed that I hadn’t been shocked or scared or grossed out to that point.

I feel rather sheepish to admit that I mistook the following signs:

  • Adrien Brody’s Severus Snape haircut deliberate coiffed to make his nose look even bigger.
  • While trying to creature a new creature using human DNA, our hero and heroine are notified of their success or failure via a Windows style dialog box on a PC that announces something to the effect: “Human gene splice unsuccessful.”
  • Our hero and heroine “finally” get the big green tick and succeed in the splicing /human hybrid malarky before Adrien Brody’s character changes his clothes from a previous business meeting, leading me to conclude that the whole process, including previous failed attempts, took less than a day.

It’s perhaps easy to conclude that Splice is in itself a bit of a splice of other movies. It’s all a bit Bride of Frankenstein meets Species meets The Fly meets Weird Science meets Eraserhead.

Providing it’s not taken too seriously, it’s actually not bad. Adrien Brody and Satah Polley seem to enjoy the ridiculously complicated things their characters are asked to say and the whole affair has a very David Cronenberg feel which drapes the movie in an effective, clinical ambiance.

Matters take a rather sinister and downright icky course in the last twenty minutes or so but that aside, there’s probably enough here to distract all but the genetic scientists among us of own mortality for 100 minutes or so.

That said, even with the best will in the world it’s no better than average and my suspicion is if it took itself a little more seriously or, preferably, played it all out for laughs, it would’ve been an infinitely better experience.

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