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3.9 out of 5 stars
Splinter [DVD]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I read some of the other reviews and decided to buy the Splinter DVD. As I had read reviews prior to buying it I knew that it was a low budget creature feature along the lines of 'The Thing'. All things considered, the acting was actually reasonably good, the special effects made the most of the limited budget in my opinion and it was enjoyably silly.

I would not usually give this type of film more than 3 stars as for me they don't bring enough to the table to warrant the extra star or two. However, the main reason I give it a fairly good 3 is because as I watched it I didn't sit there saying "why didn't they do this?" or "why would you do that?". Usually with horror films you can pick lots of holes in the character's behaviour but with this one I suppose that there was not a lot more that they could have reasonably done, also it only cost [...] so I also take the low price into consideration.

If you like horror B movies then you could do a lot worse than watch this.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2010
This is a fusion of tired and new. The old staple of 'unprepared couple get taken hostage by criminal couple for a ride in their vehicle' is fused to a horror with a fascinating idea. 'Jacked by a pair of druggie lovers, our heroes stop at a garage convenience store and all hell breaks loose. But the enemy here isn't the cops but a very ingenious parasite that really stands out for inventiveness. The movie itself is pretty stripped down hostage and survival horror fare, with the trapped characters variously following all of the endlessly familiar movie arcs like getting paranoid/trying to escape etc, so it's 'ace' to get noticed is this smart device. And it works, turning a bog standard storyline into a more interesting dilemma. The performances are decent and the direction is too. The effects, crucially, are well done and they work.
Give this a try if you fancy something a little creative, as it's intruiging.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
There aren't many movies that I will be splashing out to replace my DVD copy with a Blu-ray but I couldn't resist Splinter at such a good price. This is a fun and original horror. It is full of gore, well scripted, has a magnificent cast, fantastic character development, awesome special effects and some spectacular gross-out moments! It takes a classic horror scenario (survivors holed up in a building - in this case a petrol station) but the concept of the parasitic monster brings flare to the genre. If you enjoy films like The Mist, The Thing and Night of the Living Dead, then you too will love this. This is a great Movie Made Even Better by Blu-ray.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Smart little horror this, what it lacks in story originality it more than makes up for elsewhere.

Young lovers Seth (Paulo Costanzo) and Polly (Jill Wagner) find their attempts at a romantic camping trip usurped by their inadequacies in the great outdoors. But this soon becomes the very least of their problems, because they are car-jacked by escaped convict Dennis Farell (Shea Whigham) and his drug addict girlfriend Lacey Belisle (Rachel Kerbs). When they run over what they think is an animal of some sort, it signals the start of a terrifying ordeal that will see the group backed into the interior of a gas station and forced to fight for their lives.

What follows is a solid hour of suspense, terror, horrifying scenes and rich character dynamics. It's a siege situation with the enemy some sort of porcupine - vegetable - human hybrid, and it's relentless and clever. Director Toby Wilkins doesn't once let the picture sag or suffer from filler, all scenes and character interactions are integral to the plotting. Mercifully free of characters doing the dumb things that are so inherent in this splinter (hrr hrr hrr) of horror, Wilkins' film is consistently effective in what it wants to achieve.

The effects are kept to a minimum and the only real complaint is that for every attack by the creature we are subjected to shakycam. If this is to hide the effects work we don't know? And it's always great to have a horror assailant be used sparingly on a visual level, but the shakycam becomes annoying and feels like a bit of a cheat in the final quarter. The small cast offer up some sterling performances, with Whigham standing out as the hateful villain, while Nelson Cragg's photography strips the colours down to primal indie level and the film is better for it.

A pleasant surprise and recommended to horror fans after a quick and bloody siege horror that never disappoints. 8/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2013
As with many modern horrors the storyline is very simple: a number of people find themselves trapped in a petrol station because of some mutating organism that kind of takes over anything it can move, including dead bodies. Despite this it's not a zombie movie before you go expecting that, more of a kind of contemporary take on The Blob. I think it's a great idea personally. What really ruined this movie for me is what spoils many modern films: shaky cam. You know, when you'd swear the cameraman/woman is either pi**ed or having some sort of epileptic fit. I'm not sure why these people are coming out of film school with all of the camera skills of a VHS-camcorder-wielding auntie, but it seems to have become fairly popular in Hollywood. I think the idea is that you're supposed to be drawn into the action because the continuously erratic camera somehow simulates your presence (my head tends not to wobble around like that, thankfully). It actually draws me out of the movie - good camera work, like editing, generally should not be particularly noticeable. Anyway, the film is okay - stunning effects work combined with a pretty cool, and rather gruesome idea - but would have have been several times better if it were not for the awful camera work.

The 2.39:1 full HD image (on the Blu-ray of course - if you're looking for low resolution then go for the DVD...) is nice, sharp, and colourful - I think the film was shot digitally so it would have transferred well to this medium. If you've got a good system the lossless DTS surround track will show it off well, but you've also got 'lossy' Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM stereo audio tracks to choose from. There are also a couple of audio commentaries and a number of very short featurettes. The disc is reasonably well specified and is similar to the US Blu-ray by Magnolia.

** for the film, **** for the Blu-ray.

Paul (The Grim Cellar at Blogspot)
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Okay, this film might owe a small debt to John Carpenter's 1982 version of 'The Thing' but it has its own quirky identity, so it succeeds as a film in its own right, with enough originality and invention to keep it moving along nicely throughout its relatively short running time of 80 minutes.
The plot is simple enough. A young couple on an anniversary camping trip, are taken hostage by another couple who are on the run, and desperately trying to reach the Mexican border. However when they stop off at a Gas Station, they all find themselves hostages to a flesh eating parasitic creature.
One of the real joys of the film is watching the small group working out what makes the creature tick, and their increasingly inventive methods in combating its menace. I also liked the way they used their strengths to work as a team to try to survive the situation they found themselves in. The characters were well developed, and I genuinly cared about their fates. It was nice that they didnt just run round like headless chickens shouting 'We're all going to die!'. Finally, a special mention must go to the wonderful creature effects, nothing too showy or ridiculous, but brilliant all the same.
So all in all, a very enjoyable little horror film, that uses its claustrophobic setting to great effect, and it really bodes very well for director Toby Wilkins' future efforts. 4 out of 5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This film owes a lot to the John Carpenter classic, The Thing. An attractive but slightly nerdy couple on a road trip get duped into picking up an escaped convict and his girlfriend. The foursome wind up at a deserted gas station, and they soon find themselves under attack by a parasitic lifeform, which invades and metamorphoses people. The metamorphosis scenes are well done, with thick black splinters (hence the movie's name) shooting out from faces and bodies. Although the CGI might be slightly low budget, it works well, certainly on a par with the metamorphosis scenes in the original of The Thing and An American Werewolf in London. The lead couple have to fight off the parasite, which they do in a sequence of imaginatively shot scenes. There is muscular direction in the film, Paul Verhoeven style, and the director makes the most of a fairly limited storyline. The film has faint echoes of Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead, in the sense of a small group of characters finding themselves cornered in the middle of nowhere, and having to use their ingenuity to survive against the odds. The Evil Dead was made on a shoestring budget but was chillingly effective, and whilst this is not quite at the same level, it is still an above average B-movie type chiller. If you like The Thing, you'll most likely enjoy this under-rated monster flick.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
There are so many of these sorts of horror films, where a nice young couple go off the beaten path, only to fall foul of some random horrific force. However, although Splinter does succumb to a certain amount of clichés, it does raise itself over many of its contemporaries.

You may think a film with only six cast members, stuck in the pretty uninspired location of an American gas station, doesn't really produce a recipe for great horror. However, Splinter is short and it makes the most of everything it's got. Plus, it's also one of the few films that doesn't reply on CGI to create monstrous effects, preferring to use the old fashioned method of make-up and prosthetics. And soon our hapless heroes are running, panicking away from what turns out to be a reasonably well thought-out kind of monster.

The acting is reasonable for what is effectively a B-movie and, if you look online for negative criticism, you'll mainly see people who feel that the female lead is way too attractive to be dating someone so `nerdy.' Personally, I think it gives us nerds hope yet!

Basically, Splinter is nothing new, but if you like your horror/monster movies short, sweet and violent, then this one is definitely better than most of the rest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2012
The goverment have been doing their weird experiments again(should'nt they be sorting out the economy?)and oh no they've created some weird spikey creature that zombiefys it's host.I was expecting a standared B-movie but was surprised by the special effects and really good acting,if your looking for loads of gore like Saw [DVD] this probably isn't for you it has a more Fringe - Season 1 [DVD]style feel to it.Well worth the couple of quid i paid for it and if you enjoy this you might wanna check out Shuttle [DVD] [2008].
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2014
This single disc DVD comes with some basic bonus documentary/explanation type features, amongst these is a short demo on how to make a splinter pumpkin as well as another showing the weather during film-making. Otherwise it's a standard DVD albeit with a good picture quality and a sound level that's louder than most. Despite the limited cast and enclosed film set location the film never bores.
The story basically revolves around two dissimilar couples who are thrown together through circumstances and find themselves isolated in a gas [petrol] station where they are forced to co-operate in order to survive. There's plenty of gore to be found and the splinter creature gives a few jumpy moments.
The film lies somewhere between The Thing meets The Mist meets most zombie type movies, only change the zombies into mutating organisms. If these films appeal to you and you like the gore in movies like SAW then this is probably for you and well worth a try.
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