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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A geneticist's nightmare
Adrien Brody (The Pianist) plays Clive Nicoli, a genetic scientist working on hybridising farm animals in search of proteins and chemicals that can cure human disease. With his lab partner and lover Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley - the similar sci-fi Existenz) they have garnered great success, but genetic testing laws disallow them from adding human DNA to the mix. Frustrated by...
Published on 27 Oct 2010 by J. Morris

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "You never wanted a normal child..."
Scientists Clive and Elsa are employed to play God, creating hybrid animals in the name of medical research, before they are due to begin introducing human DNA the project is cancelled. The commercial need to patent and sell what they have already discovered takes priority over everything else, but that doesn't stop the couple from taking their work to the next phase, the...
Published on 25 Nov 2011 by @GeekZilla9000


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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A geneticist's nightmare, 27 Oct 2010
By 
J. Morris "Josh" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Splice [DVD] (DVD)
Adrien Brody (The Pianist) plays Clive Nicoli, a genetic scientist working on hybridising farm animals in search of proteins and chemicals that can cure human disease. With his lab partner and lover Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley - the similar sci-fi Existenz) they have garnered great success, but genetic testing laws disallow them from adding human DNA to the mix. Frustrated by the limitations of the law, the couple decide to dabble with an embryo containing human DNA along with the usual suite, things start to unravel as the aberration grows into something more than human and the couple scrabble to hide it's existence and cover their tracks...

Many people have remarked on the lack of originality in the plot and with only minor tweaks from the 90's hit Species and they are not far wrong. However Splice has a far better story; as the scientists are continually taken by surprise by the growth & abilities of the subject and react accordingly. At one point, I was literally shouting at the screen begging Brody not to do what he was going to do (harking back to the classic "Don't go in there!!") and this is what enamoured me to this film so much. It's just so plausible - forgetting the impossible biology, forgive that part - and the interaction between the couple and their creation is just so understandable.

The locales & technology are believable if you forget about some of the more dubious scientific aspects of it all (an artificial womb??) but every set & scene looks the part and suits the film perfectly. Both Brody and Polley provide a tangible set of emotions as they cope with the aftermath of their experimentation and I was on the edge of my seat for the majority of the film, clocking in at 104 minutes (including credits). A solid performance from all involved that will pique your curiosity on what's possible on the contemporaneous and fledgling genetic industry.

Extra content; All you get is a run-down by the director Vicenzo Natali on the Set of Splice featurette called "A Director's Playground" which is entertaining seeing how they CG'ed [sic] Dren into the film - but drags on for over half-an-hour.

All-in-all this is a classic "Scientist-creates-monster" film but done in a modern day setting with some very plausible material. It's best to realise that this isn't really a horror, you may watch with morbid fascination for the majority but it is rarely scary, relying more on tension to keep you hooked. I recommend this for all sci-fi fans and anyone who wants a tense scientific thriller!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "You never wanted a normal child...", 25 Nov 2011
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Splice [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Scientists Clive and Elsa are employed to play God, creating hybrid animals in the name of medical research, before they are due to begin introducing human DNA the project is cancelled. The commercial need to patent and sell what they have already discovered takes priority over everything else, but that doesn't stop the couple from taking their work to the next phase, the result being something which looks like it ought to have burst through John Hurt's stomach crossed with a giant chicken drumstick, and then it hatches...

Their new creation is as adorable as it is strange, seeing it laid unconscious you can't help but want to see it thrive, and thrive it does - accelerated growth sees her develop rapidly and become more humanlike, it's hard to see her as a scientific subject and Elsa's maternal instincts start kicking in, soon she loves `Dren' as if she were her own child and talks about her like any other proud parent would. Splice provides a great opportunity to explore the value of life and the ethics around creating it artificially. The secret 'family' find themselves dealing with situations a parent wouldn't usually experience, but the most striking aspect of their unit are the moments which any other parent can relate to - from stroppy teenage years, illness, to taking pride in their development.

A great concept doesn't feel fully exploited, the film gathers momentum but the tension and intrigue is underused and a title which relied heavily on psychology starts to abandon it in favour of visual horror, it almost feels as though the film starts to run out of ideas and lazily resorts to more formulaic devices to fill time, perhaps the studios wanted to push this as a horror when it never really feels like one. This is a good film, but it could have been a great film and doesn't deliver the powerful drama that it seemed to promise.

This Blu Ray release is one of those films where you have to flick through a few trailers (and a Mars bar advert!) which seem targeted at horror fans until you get to the main menu. When the film starts there is some hideous banding during the opening credits which make this look like an online stream through a narrow bandwidth connection, but thankfully I didn't notice it again after this stage. The picture is impressive, especially the early scenes set in the lab where the electric lighting and shiny surfaces look sharp and clean. Even though much of the film is dimly lit the graining is never intrusive and details on faces are clear, there is subtle yet frequent use of CGI which can risk looking obviously fake in High Definition, but thankfully it remains convincing throughout in Splice and the magic of the illusion is never shattered. The film doesn't have a massive collection of features, there are two half hour long documentaries with "director's playground" giving us a tour of the sets and showing us some of the props, while "behind the scenes" consists of interviews with the cast and crew. The interviews clearly define the artistic vision of the film, and much of it is evident in the final product - it just seemed a bit watered down towards the end.

In a nutshell: Splice works hard to invest time in a gripping and thought-provoking story which reflects some of the social fears around genetic engineering, but much of it is undone with a sloppy finale which seems to happen for the sake of convenience and to satisfy those who were expecting a body-shock horror. In the extras, Producer Guillermo Del Toro says that for him this is a "horrible family story" - if the film hadn't lost focus then this could have been a modern sci-fi classic and that's a shame because Dren was a beautiful monster and deserved to exist in a film where she was better utilised.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creature Comforts, 22 Oct 2010
By 
Lesley Z (Ancaster, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Splice [DVD] (DVD)
There is an old saying which I always adhere to..."If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" Eons of years experimenting with gene combinations has given Nature a one-up on humanity. So, why is it that we find ourselves delving into realms better left alone? SPLICE is an interesting and perhaps a more cerebral look at the us+them quandry. What is wrong with our species that we have an inate need to "fix" stuff? Often, this works to our general betterment.....then, there are the times we should have left well-enough alone!

I am a fan of scifi and the "alien" possibilities. In Splice the alien DNA is ours plus other Earthly genes. Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody make a believable couple of ambitious scientists desperately attempting to find a new protein and achieve auspicious merit in the genetics field. Having a corporate timeline nipping at their heels, Clive and Elsa go beyond the point of ethical acceptability and create a new human hybrid. Dren is a quasi-human being of dubious character within an ever-changing form.

Watching the interaction of the scientists attempting to cope with the fallout of their experiment is fascinating. At some point, we must confront ourselves and ask what we would do in this situation. Not only is there conflict between Elsa and Clive, but as things progress also between Dren and her creators. How are we to cope with the unknown? At what point do we pull the plug? What makes us human? What makes us inhuman? Ethics....when did they disappear in the race for glory and/or money?

Splice is not a slasher movie. It takes the scenario and runs with it to some places we would rather never go! This is a thinking person's storyline. If you are so inclined, it makes you ponder where the future of science is headed. Are we ready for the eventualities? Or, to misquote from "Jurassic Park"..."Just because we can, doesn't mean we should!"

The special effects in this movie are well-done and create a believable creature(s). We can understand how Clive becomes drawn to Dren and how Elsa embraces her own intrinsic mothering instincts. As a creation in CG, Dren works. However, it is the character/personality of this creation which draws us into the plot, rather than the physicality, however appealing.

I advise those who watch SPLICE not to assume anything going in. Do not try to figure it out! Just let the characters and storyline take you to an unexpected place and enjoy the ride. This is a film where the journey is the prize, not the destination!

Finding this little treasure in the theatre, I will end up buying on dvd in the near future. Some ideas are well worth running with and this has given me food for thought. Would love to see a "Re-Spliced" as may be promised by the ending : ) Howz about it Sarah? Sequel please! : )

Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow to start off but gets better, 20 Aug 2013
This review is from: Splice [DVD] (DVD)
Recorded this on sky as it was on Film4 the other night, watched it last night and actually really enjoyed it. It instantly throws you into a hectic story of two famous scientists (although you dont get this feeling, instead they come across as a couple of dweebs) who are working for a company which looks to be going bankrupt due to unimpressive research into curing diseases e.g cancer,diabetes etc. This is probably the only knowledge the film gives you about the company.

Anyway these two scientists deside they want to mix human DNA with DNA from many other animals to see what happens basically. What they get is some dog looking thing with horse legs with a growth rate of about 2 years a week I think the lady says. Slowly through the film "dren" (they name it) adapts into a half human, half horse legged creature. Its intelligence and curiosity soon develop very quickly as it becomes more mature. Anyways after raising this creature as there child things start to go pearshaped in terms of there relationship and "drens" sanity at being stuck in a barn for fear of been discovered by there employer (who has no idea).

This film is certainly worth the watch, my review isnt the most exciting but if you get some spare time, its deffo a film to see before you die.

Story 8/10
Acting 7/10
Alienish effects 9/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Species + Mimic = Splice, 3 Sep 2012
By 
Inspector Gadget "Go Go Gadget Reviews" (On the trail of Doctor Claw) - See all my reviews
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There's not a breathtaking amount of originality to Splice, but it is an otherwise solid little sci-fi horror with no real lasting appeal. It's very similar to the incredibly stupid 1995 movie Species as well as having many shades of Guillermo Del Toro's Mimic (Del Toro served as producer on this film too) but plays it straight enough for it to be taken seriously in its own right.

Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley play scientists/lovers working for a pharmaceutical company hoping to find cures for various diseases by splicing human DNA with that of various other creatures. They eventually create Dren, a female born from a fake uterus who initially looks like a blind, hairless rabbit. She soon grows arms and eyes and resembles a little girl, quickly after that she looks like a young woman and is treated mostly as a human, mostly.

What bothered me about the film is that Dren is frequently treated pretty badly. She cannot talk, instead relying on squeaks and facial expressions, and should be treated like the newborn she actually is. But the pretty poor scientists who created her really ought to be charged with animal/human cruelty. If repeatedly slapping a bad dog with a newspaper creates an unstable animal...

Splice doesn't really have many tricks up its sleeve. Vincenzo Natali plays the dead/not dead card way too many times and never really lets us into the mind of Dren. When the movie isn't trying to be a horror its an interesting study of the would-be human development of Dren and the emotions she provokes from those around her. In the end, neither genre defines the film and, like Dren herself, it ends up being a hodge-podge of half-baked ideas.

The Blu-ray is in 1.78:1 1080p with DTS HD-MA sound and a fair amount of extras.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not a classic but an enjoyable gem none the less, 25 Oct 2011
By 
bizmandan (staffordshire, england) - See all my reviews
This picture is smart sci-fi that's not afraid to flirt with taboos while still existing enough on a main stream playing field to satisfy the crowd. There's no doubt that some will dismiss it as another Species-style sci-fi movie, yet those who seek it out will find that there's more to this monster tale than just the sex horror parallels.

I am not sure if it was CGI or makeup or a mixture of both to achieve the look of the "monster" in this film but it was done extraordinarily well. Dren, as the "monster" is called in this film has the ability to look intimidating and fragile, simple yet calculating. You never really know what's going on in Drens head and sometimes you think she has sinister intentions and other times she pulls at your heart strings. To let all this penetrate through the makeup/CGI is not only a triumph by the actress, but also the team that created the whole look of Dren, she truly does look like a spliced being, half human, half something else entirely.

The two leads do a fine job with the material. The characters are both very likable, sort of nerdy but the cool kind of nerdy. They do become more interesting as the film goes on, with each one shifting allegiance to the grave mistake they've unleashed on the world. One plot thread dealing with the female leads back-story could have been explored more, but saying that, there is a very real possibility that including this sub plot in greater detail would have slowed the film right down.

Splice doesn't change the face of horror, nor does it usher in a new technology ideas unknown to science fiction viewers, yet it is definitely a picture that's hard to criticise. And despite some of its flaws in character exploration, it knows what gears it needs to hit to leave a sci-fi fan entertained.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing like "Species"....!, 28 Aug 2010
This review is from: Splice [DVD] (DVD)
OK so the plot isn't remarkable or completely "original", and will be familiar to many.

Essentially, 2 young scientists drunk on their own success meddle with forces they don't understand. They are then forced to deal with the consequences. I won't rehash the plot points as previous reviewers have gone into depth. However those who have compared this movie to the cheap, derivative, and exploitative "Species" (god forbid it's tacky sequels) have really missed the point; this film is much more intelligent than that.

The science is chillingly believable, but the real draw is the sense of "snowballing" as the 2 scientist lose control of (in order) their ethics, their experiment, their emotions and their desires. The transformation of "Dren" is shocking, but perhaps the transformation of the scientists is more what this film is about.

I call it...an efficient and unnerving movie; it's modest ambitions are all met.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 'AN EXPERIMENT TOO FAR ?, 18 July 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Splice [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
'Clive' ( Adrien Brody) and 'Elsa' (Sarah Polley) are at the top of their game as 'Bio-Chemists' and held in high regard by their employers.
They successfully 'Splice' 'DNA' to create life forms and feel they are ready to take the next step by creating a human-like creature, they are told 'no' as it would cause to much controversy.
However, without her partners knowledge 'Elsa' goes ahead, the result being a part human creature who rapidly grows to adulthood, they name her 'Dren' (Delphine Chan'eac)
The creature seems to have a good intelegence level as experiments are carried out by 'Elsa' and 'Clive' ----however maybe the two should have remembered the outcome of their earlier experiment.....'Dren' is gathering confidence in her abilitys.
I enjoyed the film very much, and thought it a well put together plot...certainly worth a spin.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Splice (Vincenzo Natali, Canada/France/U.S, 2010) - blu-ray edition, 28 Dec 2010
Specifications -

Disc: Region B locked, MPEG 4 AVC encoded.

Video: 1.78:1 aspect ratio, 1080p/24fps. Colour.

Audio: English Dolbly Digital 2.0 surround (default setting), English DTS-HD MA 5.1.

Subtitles: optional English.

Supplements:
Interview with the director (24mins, SD).
'A Directors Playground' featurette (32mins ,SD)
'Behind the scenes' featurette (33mins ,SD)
Theatrical Trailer (2mins, HD).
Dvd copy with same supplementary material.

Censorship?: The version on the U.K blu-ray is the same one released in Canada and the United States. An alternate version has also been released in Europe however. This version includes alternate shots, extended shots and a couple of extra (brief) scenes. The alternate European version misses some shots that are in the original release and also has a cut in the rape sequence. The differences are hardly noticable. The BBFC passed the film without cuts as 15 and it contains strong bad language, infrequent violence, two sex scenes and one scene of sexual violence.

This is one of those films that starts rather promising. A science-fiction drama about a couple trying to play god and create a new species. We've seen it before but 'Splice' does attempt to get into the three main characters (Elsa, Clive and their creation Dren) and in some scenes you actually feel for poor little Dren. The visual effects are rather well done, as is the acting as well. Sadly instead of having a thought provoking moral the film just ends up being another contrived generic monster on the loose flick. The film does feature possibly the most bizarre sex scene you'll see. I can see this becoming a cult film in years to come (the director also made the cult classic 'Cube' (1998) and it has a bit of an offbeat feel to it.
The Hi-Def presentation is excellent. The video is near flawless and is very sharp with some noticable grain in certain scenes. The audio is very good too, however the 2.0 track is set as default (on my copy anyway). The music, dialogue and sound effects are balanced well. Compared to other region blu-rays it appears the U.K release is the top dog when it comes to the extras. No director commentary, but we do get a lengthy interview. 'A directors playground' is basically on-set footage and shows a little insight on the effects. The 'Behind The Scenes' featurette is like a making of documentary and contains interviews with the cast and crew. The trailer is also included and its obvious the distributor wanted to market this film as a horror picture.

The Region Free U.S release features an inferior VC-1 encoding and has 'The directors playground' featurette as the only bonus feature. The German release has the alternate European version, 'Behind the scenes' featurette and the trailer as bonus material, English DTS-HD 5.1. I am unsure if it has mandatory German subtitles though.

I quite enjoyed this film and the HD presentation of it. However the final 20 minutes or so is rather predictable and its not a film for everyone (you'll love or hate it). The extras are a question of quality than quantity. Rent it first is my advise and if you like it then i can easily recommend this blu-ray edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This one is for you Matt!, 10 Sep 2014
This review is from: Splice [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Words cannot describe how utterly rubbish this film is. It is unfortunate that I saw this at the cinema, on a recommendation. The person who did so has never been able to look me in the eyes ever since without having some reminder of this utterly forgettable event.
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Splice [DVD]
Splice [DVD] by Vincenzo Natali (DVD - 2010)
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