Review - Splice

Splice (2009), R, 104 minutes - Splice is the story of a pair of scientists, Clive and Elsa (Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley respectively) push the edge of accepted legal and ethical practices when they splice human DNA into their latest experiment.

They had previously made a scientific breakthrough when they spliced together DNA strands from a handful of species to create an entirely new species. The goal that they hoped to reach with the new species was to be able to synthesize it's genes to create vaccines for livestock. Clive and Elsa believe that with the inclusion of human DNA, they would be able to instead synthesize genes that could lead to cures for many human diseases. When their financial backers want to focus on the development of the genes for livestock vaccines as opposed to pushing ahead with the ethical question mark that would be working with human DNA, the pair decide to conduct an experiment including human DNA off the books. The result is a creature they come to call Dren.

Despite conflicting opinions on how far to proceed with the experiment (Clive wants to end it, Elsa wants to continue), the pair smuggle Dren out of their research facility so that no one discovers her. They set up shop on Elsa's old family farm, allowing Dren to live in the barn. Clive and Elsa then try to juggle keeping the experiment with Dren under wraps and continuing their gene research in order to keep their financiers happy.

Splice not only touches on some ethical questions, but it also gets into some dysfunctional family issues. These lead to a couple of scenes that are pretty out there even for a sci-fi/horror/thriller, and I'm still not sure how I feel about them. The second of which really sets up the end of the film.

Splice starts strong, then seems to loose it's direction a bit. Both Clive and Elsa flip flop a couple of times in their views of how to move forward with Dren - either as a continued experiment or to treat her more like a daughter. All in all it's pretty entertaining, it just makes a couple turns that I'm not sure it needed to.

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