Marketed or at least presented as a science gone wrong movie, like Species where some tinkering in a lab leads to a creature that has a knack for killing people. Splice is not such a movie, though it does feature a creature created by scientists which does kill a couple of people. Splice is more about a relationship of two people and their feelings towards a surrogate child. Surrogate because the child here has been made here through science rather than the old in-out in-out as Alex from A Clockwork Orange would call it.
Instead of mixing alien DNA with humans or Dinosaur DNA with frogs splice deals with a company that is pushing boundaries with the creation of creatures that consist of DNA of various living animals so that they can function as living suppliers of certain enzymes and such. To put it simply: these hybrid animals are the cure to a lot of killer diseases. This is for us to know that what they are doing is good work.
Two rebellious scientists, Elsa and Clive, who happen to be in a relationship are being ordered to stop experimenting and start producing as a company has to sell a product to live. Elsa ignores this and goes to a new level of experimentation by adding human DNA into a “splice” which results in a creature she later starts calling Dren. And yes, that is Nerd spelled backwards which will give Troll 2 enthusiasts something to laugh about. Sadly no revilating remark is made like: Dren, it’s Nerd spelled backwards! The creature is weird at first with bird-like legs, no arms or wings, no nose. But as the creature grows, in a live-cycle much faster than our, she starts to humanize developing arms and a human face despite the wide eyes. She’s also pretty smart being able to draw pictures and spell out words without having had one lesson. Then comes puberty.
The core of the movie revolves around the relationship with Dren and her surrogate parents. These are not model parents, but when you’re born a test subject in a lab, you could do a lot worse than a remote barn. While Elsa develops a motherly instance for Dren Clive has to deal with that fact Elsa is not his child and features an adult female anatomy. It doesn’t help that Dren also sees Clive more than someone to mate with than as her father.
It’s a far fetched concept in a way, but then again the internet is filled with porn featuring animals; Interspecies Erotica as Kevin Smith called it in Clerks 2. A found this movie to be more about a relationship between two people and their bastard child rather than a horror movie it wants to be. It’s not a bad movie, I quite enjoyed it actually, but not the movie it thinks it is. It is more of a psychological thriller until the end where of course the creature gets loose and people get killed.
Intriguing as it is, the movie is not for everyone. People expecting and wanting a killer lab-project on the loose should probably watch Man’s Best Friend, Species or Jurassic Park.