Review of movie “Splice”

splice movie poster.pngThe movie Splice is about 2 brilliant but rogue scientists who, after successfully splicing the DNA of various animals to create a new creature, violate ethical boundaries to splice human DNA with that of animal(s), amphibian(s), and bird(s) to create a new creature.
Splice opened on June 4.
Rich and I saw it over the weekend because its premise is quite real. We know, as Splice’s trailer indicates, “At this very moment in labs across the country boundaries are being pushed, risks are being taken, and a line is about to be crossed”…

Actually, that line has already been crossed. In 2003 Chinese scientists announced they had created a human-rabbit hybrid, and UK scientists announced in 2008 they had created a human-cow hybrid.
human sheep.jpgHere in America a University of NV scientist created a sheep that was 15% human in 2007 (pictured right.)
*Spoiler alert*: Read no further if you don’t want to know Splice’s surprising plot twists and unexpected ending!
Splice stars Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley as genetic engineers Clive Nicoli and Elsa Kast.
Drew Zahn at described ethical dilemmas presented in Splice, which pro-lifers will recognize as current arguments made to legitimize human embryo and cloning experimentation:

The film presents a fantastic study on the juvenile, self-serving redrawing of moral boundaries by a society that has abandoned objective standards.

splice baby.jpg

Appealing one minute to philanthropy, the next minute to utilitarian ethics, the next to maternal instincts, then reverting to the cold rationales of science and reason, the character Elsa is able to manipulate what is “right” whenever she wants, to get whatever she wants.
In fact, Elsa’s arguments sound convincing, sound plausible through most of the film. Even while Clive insists the experiment should have boundaries, it should be terminated, it should be done within protocol, the audience can’t help but sympathize or even agree with Elsa – even as she repeatedly disregards any ethical guidelines by making up new ones. Elsa’s godless, drifting moral relativism is so convincing, in part, because our society speaks her language.

We learn toward the end of Splice that Elsa used her own egg to create Dren (“Nerd” spelled backwards).
No surprise, Dren starts out a little wild but tamable and cute but grows at an accelerated rate to become wildly strong and hostile. Dren’s DNA mix gives her the ability to both breathe under water and fly.
splice adult.jpgThen Dren morphs into a male and rapes Elsa (after having sex with Clive when a female, as pictured left).
I have to tell you the surprise ending because it introduces another ethical dilemma totallly unexpected but also relevant to pro-lifers: Elsa becomes pregnant with Dren’s baby and decides to bear the “child” in agreement with her pharmaceutical company boss who anticipates all sorts of future patents.
Ultimately the sex scenes and stupid holes in certain plot sequences made Splice only deserving of 2 stars. I wouldn’t recommend it.
But it is a storyline ripped from headlines in the not too distant future, we can be sure.

6 thoughts on “Review of movie “Splice””

  1. When I saw the first 15 seconds of the preview, I was all ‘Whoa, this looks like it proposes some legit scientific ethical questions to current science and Life issues!’….but as I see from this review, the complexities that would have made the movie worthwhile were lost in the horror plot. I’m glad you made this review, though; I wanted to know what happened, but without wasting my $5. That is one crazy ending…..which, like all horror movies, is trying to set up for a sequel

  2. Hey Steph, I also wonder if they’re setting up for a “Rosemary’s Baby” type sequel.
    BTW, everyone is calling it a horror film, but there was no real gore. It did scare me a couple times, though.

  3. Jill,
    Horror does not equal gore. Movies of a supernatural/paranormal nature are often called horror movies and even some sci-fi “monster” movies, like this one, I believe.

  4. Jill-
    I didn’t read the review you provided because of the spoiler alert…So, bottom line- do you recommend it? If so, I will likely go see it.
    (No pressure ;)

  5. It’s the irony of the movie. Two people use various DNA of other creatures to make a brand new one. That is exactly how this movie is. It’s “Species” mixed with “Jeepers Creeper” mixed with whatever you can think of. The first sex scene made me laugh with Elsa caught Brody with Dren and that “oh my gawd I got caught screwing with the semi offspring of my girlfriend” was priceless. Though sex scene after scene just made me sit there going…”really..typical” Then the pregnancy..I HOPE the don’t bring a sequel. Take a good look at remakes like Species. If I am not mistaken Species 3 didn’t make it to theaters it was on the sciFi channel. That’s where the sequel of Splice belongs. Honestly this whole movie didn’t surprise me, felt like I knew what was going to happen.Oh and for the one who didn’t want to spend 5 bucks. Try coming down to Manhattan and spend 12 bucks on a regular ticket..8 bucks for a matinee.

  6. Check out my novel “My Fair Clone” published in 09. See vido trailer on More realistic story of stem cell research and human cloning for body parts.

Comments are closed.