Splice is an example of a predictable thriller that’s interesting to watch because of the character study it emphasizes. Some things in the plot are proposed from almost the first scene and other things are telegraphed a mere half hour ahead, and by the end of Splice you’ll not have felt any of it was a particular surprise—but the film doesn’t suffer from it.

I enjoyed the film despite the predictability because I looked at Splice not as a horror film (it isn’t) but as a character study with a sci-fi McGuffin.

The story, as I saw it, is about two scientists and the lengths that they would go to for science’s sake. Of particular interest, to me, was how they kept re-drawing “the line” of how far it was for them to go in their experiments, and also how the characters traded being the line cop. One would draw the line while the other crossed it, and vice versa. I found this switching interesting and all the while we, the audience, could see that the line was slipping far from its original point.

I also liked how it felt small but had a Hollywood budget. There were, what, six sets to the film? Seven? And a small cast. The producers put all their money into special effects and it showed—they were fabulous indeed without being flashy or showy. Very well done and elegant.

As a bonus they don’t spend too much time on the McGuffin, meaning the genetic triple talk behind Dren (who you see in the movie poster above). Dren is another character in the film, sort of, but anyway the film dispenses with how Dren came about early on and then leaves all that behind, and rightfully so. Splice is about crossing lines.

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