If you happen to be reading this post and find yourself in Blockbusters or browsing through your on demand catalogue and you chance upon a film called Splice, notice Adrien Brody’s name and think that the presence of an actor able to carry such an excellent film as Roman Polanski’s The Pianist is some kind of guarantee of quality, then please think again.
I feel like complaining to Empire for having given a wilfully, bizarrely misjudged review: I mean, four stars, really? The only partially accurate statement – and only partially, mind – is ‘For the most part, this is a complex character drama’. If you replace ‘a complex character drama’ with ‘a family soap opera in which the parents are scientists who create a mutant baby which they then treat as their own child despite the fact it has a tail’ then you get marginally closer to the truth.
I say marginally not least because I’ve yet to see a soap opera in which the (mutant) child ages at an astonishing rate and the dad then… I can’t bring myself to type it. Adrien Brody, what were you thinking? I’d say ‘you’ll have to find out for yourself’ but really, don’t bother: not because the film’s blaring crescendo climax is so shocking (it isn’t), but because the first three quarters are so dull and po-faced.
Like The Last Exorcism the finale to Splice seems to have been stitched on by producers who were worried about audiences leaving the cinema without receiving their due quotient of ‘standard horror fare’, but unlike the wit and suspense of ninety per cent of The Last Exorcism, there’s simply nothing in the preceding minutes of Splice to make it worth your while.