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"SPLICE"
(2010) (Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Extreme Extreme Heavy None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Mild Extreme None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme None Moderate Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Sci-Fi: Hoping to find a cure for any number of medical maladies by combining the DNA of multiple animals and plants, two young scientists take that to the extreme when they mix in some human DNA and must then contend with the unlikely hybrid creature they've secretly created.
PLOT:
Clive (ADRIEN BRODY) and Elsa (SARAH POLLEY) are genetic researchers and live-in lovers employed by Newstead Pharmaceuticals. They work for Barlow (DAVID HEWLETT), along with Clive's brother, Gavin (BRANDON McGIBBON), in combining animal and plant DNA with hopes of the result creating medicinal and scientific breakthroughs. When they successfully create two large, hybrid grub-type creatures, Barlow shuts down their experimental research to move on to the second stage of retrieving something marketable from them.

Elsa isn't happy with the development, and thus she and Clive continue to experiment on the sly, including throwing some human DNA into their next mix. The result, another hybrid creation they nickname "Dren," is like a small, hairless child with bird-like legs and a poison-tipped, prehensile tail. As she quickly grows from toddler to young girl and then into a teen, Dren (DELPHINE CHANEAC) becomes ever more human due to her contact with her pseudo parents who keep her hidden away from the world, first in the basement of the lab and then at the abandoned farm where Elsa grew up.

Yet, her hybrid nature presents unique and unexpected challenges that the couple must contend with, developments that quickly progress from troubling to downright dangerous.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into sci-fi thrillers, are interested in genetic research and/or are fans of anyone in the cast, they might be interested.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For disturbing elements including strong sexuality, nudity, sci-fi violence and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ADRIEN BRODY plays a genetic researcher who, along with his live-in lover Elsa and others, works for a company that's trying to create medical and scientific breakthroughs by mixing DNA from various animals and plants together. He's initially against the presence of the hybrid Dren creature and wants to kill her at various points, but his attitude changes as she grows into an alluring teen and young woman. He uses strong profanity, has sex with Elsa and (SPOILER ALERT) Dren, and briefly drinks.
  • SARAH POLLEY plays his live-in lover and fellow genetic scientist who decides to continue their research on the sly, including throwing in some of her own DNA into the mix. She has an instant maternal bond to Dren, but her attitude changes as the hybrid girl quickly grows up and goes through the usual, and unusual, hormonal mood swings and such. She uses strong profanity and has sex with Clive.
  • DELPHINE CHANEAC plays the teen and young woman versions of the hybrid creature they create, part human with various attributes of other animals and life forms thrown in. A quick learner, she ends up yearning both for her freedom, as well as the attention of Clive to whom she becomes sexually attracted.
  • DAVID HEWLETT plays Clive and Elsa's boss who wants them to deliver with their work and isn't happy when things don't go the way he wants.
  • BRANDON McGIBBON plays Clive's brother and fellow researcher who thinks his sibling and Elsa have gone too far with their genetic experimentation.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this sci-fi thriller that's been rated R. Profanity consists of at least 19 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Two sexual encounters (with nudity, movement and sounds) are observed, while some nonsexual nudity (breasts) also occurs.

    Violence consists of several people being killed by a part-human creature, an apparent rape by the same, an attempted drowning, two grub-like creatures mauling each other to death and a cat being killed. Some of that violence has bloody results, while various gooey creatures and substances are seen. That and various moments of potential peril might be unsettling, suspenseful and/or scary to some viewers.

    There's brief alcohol content, as well as some tense family material from the past. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts of handheld camerawork in the film (sometimes fairly bouncy). In addition, as a hybrid creature is "born," we see its POV of Clive, Elsa and others, with its heartbeat causing the entire camera image to pulsate, while later there's a slow camera spin around a room from a low angle.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see liquor and champagne in a lab refrigerator.
  • Clive has a drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • The opening credits sequence shows titles embedded in fleshy, sinewy and veiny membranes and such.
  • We see two of Clive and Elsa's hybrid creations that look like thick grubs, several feet long and gooey, with long, flowery tongues.
  • Elsa angrily states she isn't going to spend the next several years digging through "pig-sh*t" for her bosses.
  • We see some sort of dead clawed creature in a glass jar.
  • Realizing their creation has grown too fast for its containment chamber, Elsa sticks her gloved hand through an access port into it, but something inside grabs and yanks her hard against the chamber, causing her to scream. Clive then smashes the glass with something, grabs a knife or scalpel, and cuts the "womb" suspended inside that, allowing blood, goo and their hybrid creation to fall out (the latter rips itself from its umbilical cord), while Clive briefly holds that bloody knife/scalpel in his mouth to free up his hands.
  • Clive and Elsa believe that their new hybrid creature is dead (it's all gooey and motionless), but Elsa then spots the bloody goo on the top of the container and then her gloved hand, followed by seeing the creature is really just a shell that's now missing the inner part.
  • Elsa squeezes some sort of poisonous secretion from the young creature for testing.
  • Clive fills a vial with blood from one of his earlier hybrid creations.
  • Dren vomits.
  • Clive and Elsa present their two big grub-like hybrid creatures to an audience, but with the female having changed into a male (resulting in two males in tights quarters), both present singular fangs (or something similar) and proceed to attack each other viciously. That results in a massive bloodbath in the glass cage (also seen on a video screen), and that then splatters onto the bystanders when the cage falls off its stand and shatters. Clive also has some blood on his clothing from that.
  • Clive and Elsa find Dren crouched down, and when she turns, she's quite bloody (especially her mouth, face and hands) from eating a dead and equally bloody animal.
  • When Dren's wings retract in her back, they leave open (but not bloody) slots in the skin.
  • We see Dren's full frontal nudity as Elsa has bound her to a table to surgically remove her dangerous, barbed tail. She then gives her some sort of sedative via a needle shot, followed by a view of the scalpel cutting into flesh. That has some bloody results, and we later see blood soaked through the bandage on the tail, elsewhere, and the severed piece in a bowl.
  • We see a dead person with bloody scrapes on their face.
  • Elsa's head is somewhat bloody after she accidentally clotheslines herself on a tree branch.
  • Clive impales Dren with a pole-like object, but Dren slowly pulls that out, with bloody results. Elsa then bashes Dren on the head with a rock, also with bloody results.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Clive and Elsa continue their experiments on the sly, and that includes combining human DNA into the mix.
  • Clive realizes that Elsa put her own DNA into the experiment to create Dren, and on several occasions he wants to kill their creation (and tries to in one scene).
  • Having had enough of Dren's behavior (including potentially dangerous stuff), Elsa straps her down to a table and surgically removes the poisonous barb from her tail (thus disfiguring her).
  • SPOILER ALERT: Clive cheats on Elsa and sort of behaves incestuously (he's the father figure to a degree) and breaks scientific protocol by having sex with Dren.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Realizing their creation has grown too fast for its containment chamber, Elsa sticks her gloved hand through an access port into it, but something inside grabs and yanks her hard against the chamber, causing her to scream. Clive then smashes the glass with something, grabs a knife or scalpel, and cuts the "womb" suspended inside that, allowing blood, goo and their hybrid creation to fall out (the latter rips itself from its umbilical cord). Clive manages to trap the creature, but must tend to Elsa who's convulsing on the floor until he gives her a shot of something through her pants leg.
  • Clive and Elsa believe that their new hybrid creature is dead (it's all gooey and motionless), but Elsa then spots the bloody goo on the top of the container and then her gloved hand, followed by seeing the creature is really just a shell that's now missing the inner part. She then hears noises, slowly maneuvers herself and then turns, and nearly runs face-first into the creature that lets out a shriek and then scurries away. Clive wants to gas it and nearly does so, but Elsa removes her mask and thus prevents him from continuing. She then reaches out to the creature (that looks like a hairless combination of a human baby, rabbit and ostrich (or something along those lines), telling it she won't hurt it.
  • Gavin lets himself into his brother's secret lab, and doesn't realize that the hybrid creature is behind him. We see its barbed tail raise up, followed by a view of him then fall-stumbling into a room with Dren on top of him (but Clive and Elsa make her stop and Gavin isn't harmed).
  • Thinking their experiment has gone too far and seeing a window of opportunity now that young Dren is sick, Clive helps Elsa put the hybrid creature (suffering from a high fever) into a large industrial sink of water. But he then holds her underwater as she struggles and Elsa protests, seemingly drowning Dren. But after a few moments of motionlessness, Dren starts breathing underwater and is fine.
  • Dren grabs a barn cat, and based on what we saw earlier, we think she's going to eat it, but she doesn't, and instead holds it in a loving fashion.
  • Dren blasts out through a skylight in the barn ceiling, with Clive and Elsa then using a ladder to get up on the snowy roof. Dren then stands on the very peak/edge and starts to fall off, when she suddenly sprouts wings and regains her balance.
  • After having previously taken a barn cat away from Dren (that Dren loves, but Elsa thinks might be harmful to her), Elsa returns the cat to her. Out of spite, Dren then uses her spiked tail to impale and kill the cat, prompting Elsa to slap her face. Dren then pins Elsa down and raises her spiked tail, but uses it to lift the door key from her and then heads out the door. Elsa, however, follows and whacks her over the head with a shovel, knocking her out.
  • Dren appears to be dying and both Elsa and Clive are upset. That's followed by a view of her grave that's now been filled after they bury her.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Dren has transformed into a menacing male version of herself and swoops down and grabs Clive and Elsa's boss in the woods at night. They next find him, dead and bloodied, up in a tree. That's followed by Gavin being similarly grabbed and yanked away, with Elsa and Clive then trying to find either of them, slowly proceeding. Clive's flashlight ends up lost in a pond, with him reaching for it, all while we see a body (we don't know if it's Dren or Gavin) under the water. Clive is then yanked into and under the water, with Elsa panicking. Dren then slowly surfaces out of the water and chases after Elsa who tries to hide, but Dren is then right there, so she runs and accidentally ends up clotheslining herself on a tree branch. Dren, who's nude (but nothing explicit is seen), then pins her down, mouths "inside you" and then starts to rape her, with some thrusting (the barbed tail is raised but we don't see if that's what he uses to rape her). Clive then impales Dren with a pole-like object, and Dren stands, pulls that out and starts to come at Clive and towers over him. Elsa then hits Dren on the head with a large rock, but Dren manages to impale Clive with his barbed tail, followed by Elsa bashing Dren's head a second time (we don't see the impact of that presumably fatal blow).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You're Bob-f*cking-Fosse," "F*cking love it," "F*cking idiot," "If you believe that you're more f*cked up than I think you are," "Why the f*ck did you want to make her in the first place?" "We f*cked up," "What the f*ck is going on?" "Pig-sh*t," "Oh sh*t," "Holy sh*t," "Losers," "Are you crazy?" and "You screwed us all" (nonsexual).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A cable suddenly bursts on an experimental chamber.
  • Elsa turns and comes face-to-face with the small creature she and Clive have just created.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 19 "f" words (1 partially used sexually), 8 "s" words, 1 crap, 1 damn, 1 hell, 3 uses of "Oh my God," 2 each of "G-damn" and "Jesus Christ" and 1 use each of "Jesus," "My God," "Oh God" and "Oh Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We briefly see a small image of Da Vinci's famous drawing, "The Vitruvian Man" that shows overlapping images of a man (four arms, four legs, and a visible penis).
  • Elsa shows some cleavage.
  • An old 1940s style pinup sticker shows an illustration of a cleavage-revealing woman.
  • When they microscopically insert their experimental DNA mix into an ovum (seen microscopically), Clive says "F*ck," followed by Elsa stating, "Exactly" (meaning sexually).
  • Clive and Elsa briefly kiss a few times.
  • We briefly see Clive in his underwear and t-shirt as he gets out of bed.
  • Elsa shows a little more cleavage.
  • Clive rubs Elsa's stocking-covered leg and mentions it's been a long time (since they had sex). She then straddles him on a sofa, undoes his pants (nothing seen) and the two then have sex, still clothed as far as we can see (different views of their pelvic areas are blocked by foreground objects). He states they don't have any protection, but she asks what's the worst that could happen, and they have sex (with movement and sounds, including climaxing), all as young Dren watches from behind a curtain.
  • We see Dren's full frontal nudity (breasts, as well as partial groin area but her entire body is hairless) as Elsa has bound her to a table to surgically remove her dangerous, barbed tail and cuts off her clothes for the procedure.
  • We see a laptop computer video camera view of Dren swimming in a tank (including bare breast views).
  • SPOILER ALERT: Dren, who's nude (breasts and bare butt seen), suddenly kisses Clive, who half-heartedly tries to stop her, but she continues, including with her leg up alongside his body while both are standing (he's clothed). They then end up on the floor and he partially pulls his pants down as they start to have sex in the missionary position. She then gets on top, spreads her wings, and grinds her hips, and then he's back on top, with a view of his bare butt and thrusting, while we hear related sounds. Her spiked tail then rises into the air, but nothing else happens as he then spots Elsa watching them, horrified, from the door. Elsa then leaves, followed by Clive chasing after her, shirtless (he's pulled his pants back up).
  • SPOILER ALERT: Dren, who's nude and now male (but nothing explicit is seen), pins down Elsa, mouths "inside you" and then starts to rape her, with some thrusting (until Clive attacks him). During that, the barbed tail is raised but we don't see if that's what he uses to rape her. Later, we see that Elsa is pregnant from that rape or her earlier unprotected sex with Clive.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Elsa briefly looks at an old photo of herself as a child along with her mother (indicating troubles in the past).
  • Elsa doesn't want to talk about her mother with Clive.
  • Later, when they arrive at Elsa's childhood farm home, Clive sees her sparse bedroom (unkempt mattress on the floor, etc.) and comments on thinking Elsa had said it was kept the way it was when she was a kid. Elsa then replies it has been.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Genetic research and experimentation.
  • The perils of messing with nature.
  • The Frankenstein analogies present here.
  • Humankind's longstanding desire to create life.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Realizing their creation has grown too fast for its containment chamber, Elsa sticks her gloved hand through an access port into it, but something inside grabs and yanks her hard against the chamber, causing her to scream. Clive then smashes the glass with something, grabs a knife or scalpel, and cuts the "womb" suspended inside that, allowing blood, goo and their hybrid creation to fall out (the latter rips itself from its umbilical cord), while Clive briefly holds that bloody knife/scalpel in his mouth to free up his hands.
  • Thinking their experiment has gone too far and seeing a window of opportunity now that young Dren is sick, Clive helps Elsa put the hybrid creature (suffering from a high fever) into a large industrial sink of water. But he then holds her underwater as she struggles and Elsa protests, seemingly drowning Dren. But after a few moments of motionlessness, Dren starts breathing underwater and is fine.
  • Clive and Elsa present their two big grub-like hybrid creatures to an audience, but with the female having changed into a male (resulting in two males in tights quarters), both present singular fangs (or something similar) and proceed to attack each other viciously. That results in a massive bloodbath in the glass cage (also seen on a video screen), and that then splatters onto the bystanders when the cage falls off its stand and shatters. Clive also has some blood on his clothing from that.
  • Clive and Elsa find Dren crouched down, and when she turns, she's quite bloody (especially her mouth, face and hands) from eating a dead and equally bloody animal.
  • Dren overturns a table and thrashes other items in frustration.
  • After having previously taken a barn cat away from Dren (that Dren loves, but Elsa thinks might be harmful to her), Elsa returns the cat to her. Out of spite, Dren then uses her spiked tail to impale and kill the cat, prompting Elsa to slap her face. Dren then pins Elsa down and raises her spiked tail, but uses it to lift the door key from her and then heads out the door. Elsa, however, follows and whacks her over the head with a shovel, knocking her out. She then straps her down and surgically removes the poisonous tip of Dren's tail.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Dren has transformed into a menacing male version of herself and swoops down and grabs Clive and Elsa's boss in the woods at night. They next find him, dead and bloodied, up in a tree. That's followed by Gavin being similarly grabbed and yanked away, with Elsa and Clive then trying to find either of them, slowly proceeding. Clive's flashlight ends up lost in a pond, with him reaching for it, all while we see a body (we don't know if it's Dren or Gavin) under the water. Clive is then yanked into and under the water, with Elsa panicking. Dren then slowly surfaces out of the water and chases after Elsa who tries to hide, but Dren is then right there, so she runs and accidentally ends up clotheslining herself on a tree branch. Dren, who's nude (but nothing explicit is seen), then pins her down, mouths "inside you" and then starts to rape her, with some thrusting (the barbed tail is raised but we don't see if that's what he uses to rape her). Clive then impales Dren with a pole-like object, and Dren stands, pulls that out and starts to come at Clive and towers over him. Elsa then hits Dren on the head with a large rock, but Dren manages to impale Clive with his barbed tail, followed by Elsa bashing Dren's head a second time (we don't see the impact of that presumably fatal blow).



  • Reviewed May 11, 2010 / Posted June 4, 2010

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