Splice: Mostly Sci-Fi, Little Horror

I recently watched the Canadian sci-fi “horror” film Splice, written and directed by Vincenzo Natali, the writer and director of Cube and the writer/director of the upcoming adaptation of William Gibson’s (overrated) Neuromancer. I didn’t know any of this and assumed the film would be a predictable pulpy experience.

Splice is about the biochemist couple Elsa and Clive creating and raising a human hybrid. From the trailer I assumed that most of the story would concern the hybrid killing people, in the vein of the usual sci-fi horror. However it’s much more about Elsa’s motivations, parenting, and the couple’s relationship than hybrid monsters.

The science-fiction element is strong for most of the film, with realistic (as far as I can tell) dealings with venture capitalists, plausible laboratory setups, and the focus on the effect of the technology. At the end of the movie things become more traditional, but the movie was unusual until then.

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