Saturday, October 26, 2013

"Splice" (2010)

“Splice” is a modernization of the Frankenstein story—the age-old temptation of mankind to tread onto God’s territory of life and death. In Shelly’s story man sought to reverse death, here he tries to create new life. It is as relevant a story as ever, and seems truly more and more plausible today than it probably ever did before. It has gone from gothic atmospheric metaphor to scary scientific plausibility.

The fact that it is told so well by an (at the time) new filmmaker, independently and with such capable effects-work and story-telling skill makes it all the more noteworthy. This is not your run-of-the-mill cheap-o-horror. What it is is disturbing, thought provoking horror. Perhaps too disturbing.

What makes this film all the more noteworthy is a new slant that is added into the mix. Here we do not have a mad-scientist run amok; we have a couple. A man and his woman, or more precisely: an Eve and her Adam.

Every step of the way the boundaries of ethics are being pushed by the woman in this story while the man weakly, meekly, follows along. That being said, we are never led to think that he is faultless. On the contrary he seems to be even more to blame because he goes along with her abominable experiments even though he knows what they are doing is wrong.

As man becomes more and more callous to what his conscience is telling him, he falls further and further into inexplicable depravity. That is certainly the case here. What starts as a rebellion against authority, medical ethics, and good sense becomes a total inability to see what is right. The man scientist is sexually tempted by the monster he has helped create, and the woman becomes so invested in her monstrosity that she goes from being bioengineer to mother, literally.

It is a morality play on the grandest of scales, and one that probably needs to be heard in today’s culture. That being said, audiences today likely miss the implications.

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