Review: Splice DVD

STUDIO: Warner | DIRECTOR: Vincenzo Natali | CAST: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chaneac, Brandon McGibbon, David Hewlitt
RELEASE DATE: 10/5/10 | PRICE: DVD $28.98, Blu-ray $35.99
BONUSES: featurettes; Blu-ray adds digital copy
SPECS: R | 126 min. | Science-fiction Horror | 1.77:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1; DTS Surround Sound | English subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

The best David Cronenberg film David Cronenberg never directed, Splice is a creepy bio-science shocker from Canada that delivers some terrific scares with a surplus of intelligence and three-dimensional characters. Colin (Adrien Brody, Predators) and Elsa (Sarah Polley, Go) are romantically involved cutting edge genetic engineers who go out on their own when funding disappears after one of their experiments goes awry. Mixing human DNA with an artificial organism, they create a bird-like creature named Dren, which grows into a mutated female–with bird-like legs (Delphine Chaneac).

The result of the couple’s fooling around with Mother Nature leads to something bold, problematical and horrifying at the same time. As their creation becomes more intelligent and human-like, Colin and Elsa argue about their achievement and their relationship, while Dren begins to put a strange spell on them.

Like such Cronenberg opuses as Rabid, eXisTenz and Videodrome, director Vincenzo Natali’s (Cube), Splice adds fleshly terror to technology, yielding a disturbing stew. First-rate acting all-around (especially from French actress/model Chaneac) helps make the proceedings believable. And Natali’s visuals and sound design will propel this into an especially eerie and atmospheric experience on Blu-ray.

The sole supplemental bonus is the featurette “A Director’s Playground: Vicenzo Natali On the Set of Splice,” which finds the director doing some directing on the set of his film.

 

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About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.