Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley team up for Splice. Each plays Clive and Elsa respectively, two emotionally involved scientists whose aspirations challenge ethical law. The film is common science fiction, where scientists want to play God and achieve a creation after splicing animal genes with human DNA.

The film opens with the birth of scientifically manipulated entities, to be key organisms for conducting the ‘medical breakthrough of the century’: medicinal proteins derived from DNA combinations of a variety of species to provide a cure for genetic diseases. Human DNA is supposedly crucial to achieve the invention but their request to administer the experiment is turned down. In an unwarranted act to proving themselves to no one but themselves, Elsa and Clive, accomplish the combination after numerous chromosome rejections, resulting in ‘Dren’, an abhorrent bald headed, spaced out eyes-double kneed individual. Its name derives from N.E.R.D. spelled backwards, in reference to the company Elsa and Clive work for.

Dren is brought up by Elsa, and partly by Clive. As they bond, Dren constantly struggles with confusion by being treated as a pet and a daughter simultaneously. Dren develops human psychological attributes due to her exposition to human stimuli, yet still keeps an intermittent wild temperament.

Dren’s creation foreshadows the transition the main characters’ relationship faces; it splits their interests and subjects these to question. Elsa’s repressed impulse of being a mother allows the creature to evolve, to the point it becomes a deadly threat due to her upbringing and genetic makeup. Despite the vainness of the plot, Splice is roughly a sick portrayal of the deprivation of motherhood.

It is neither a forewarning nor a commentary as to where Science sets it limits, but instead just makes up for a thriller pooled with apprehensive terror. This is not an introduction to an iconic or sympathetic character, only the vicious invention of an idealized degeneration of the scientific world. Judging by the direction the film takes, it could easily be denominated as scientific pornography, where scientist’s wildest ambitions and fantasies come to life.

Splice is very emotional in the literal sense, not because Dren’s character is sympathetic, on the contrary, is untrustworthy and repulsive, but because the movie itself reflects human inanity, human eccentricities and stubbornness, as well as the use of the search for reassurance as a pretext to feed one’s ego. Practically, it is a vivid representation of human nature, of insatiable cravings to excel driven by emotional intelligence, not owning up to being wrong and abiding by consequences. Other than that, it is a bad excuse for a film, it is morbid and repugnant.

Directed by Vincenzo Natali, executively produced by Guillermo del Toro.

★★

C.Perez

Watch the trailer for Splice below!