Splice is a little gem from 2009 that is a great view of horror that is created purely by science. Yes that's right it's a science fiction and horror mash up which, when done well, is my favorite mixture of genre's. It's mainly a fun mix as a lot of what is focused on in science fiction is actually based in reality when it comes to being mixed with horror. While not a house hold name this is actually Vincenzo Natali's second foray into a film that mixes the two genres and as his last 1997 film that mixed the two, Cube, became a cult hit I have the distinct feeling that Splice will follow the same trend.
Gene splicing is not a new concept. It's a field that has been worked on for years and one that new breakthroughs are still occurring. Mixing genes to find ways to grow human organs is also not a new concept and the mixing of genes to create a new species has been written about for years. On the face of things, scientifically most of what is found is this film is not new. The creation of 'new' life by two scientists who aren't fully held in check by the company that they work for and who have their own ideas on how science should be done leads to a border line mad science feel mixed with the idea that what they are doing is right. Well that is at least the view that Elsa (Sarah Polley) believes and as her research partner partner, Clive (Adrien Brody,) is also her lover he will pretty much go along with anything she says.
What this leads to is not only a new species of life but one that has a mixture of human DNA in it. They of course cannot let the company that they work for know about their creation so have it hidden away in a corner of the lab. However when the creature they have created is fully 'born' they end up taking it out of the laboratory so as to not have it be found. It continues to grow into at first a child at the abandoned house Elsa grew up in and eventually into a young 'woman' that is self aware who they have named Dren (Delphine Chaneac.)
Self awareness is great but just like in an artificial intelligence it's a bad thing to have in a new species who not only wants to be able to be free but also starts to fall in love with Clive while beginning to resent Elsa. From science to the Oedipus complex to horror as Dren starts to at first be angry with Elsa to beginning to fight with her as she also falls in love with Clive. While all of this is happening we learn that the first two creatures they had created have gone from being in love to violently murdering each other. Foreshadowing? I think so! If you are a fan of mixing your horror and science I'd suggest at the very least renting this one immediately. I know it's going to be permanently added to my collection.