Full disclosure: I adore SARAH POLLEY. If you read this here blog you’re probably well aware of all my isms, schemas and bugaboos about modern cinema; my hatred of gaudy bombastic formulae and my passionate, quiet love for the idiosyncratic. It’s easy to damn the movie gods and shake your fist at the sky without a solution or example of a preferred route but I happen to have an example of the preferred route and her name is SARAH POLLEY. Here is a successful, intelligent and proficient artist who takes risks and explores the fringe without catering to spectacle or vanity. She’s so damn dignified, in tune and self possessed, that I just want to buy her an ice cream cone; I almost feel that she’d let me. That’s a real human face you’re seeing on screen, those are real human teeth, real person eyes and real human emotions. Something about SARAH POLLEY makes every other film star look like a garish vaudeville cartoon. POLLEY is the last human on Earth in a world of vampires. I AM LEGEND is based on her life. Did I mention that I LOVE SARAH POLLEY with all that is left of my charcoal heart?

SPLICE is a great fit for POLLEY, its shell might distract you into thinking it’s another sexy alien rampage dud like SPECIES but beneath the CGI shenanigans, primal, monumental emotions are stirred. This movie hit me on a level that I really wasn’t prepared for. I’m going to try to explain how it made me feel and in the process I may also reveal that I have severe mental problems. Please do not call the guys with the nets to come and get me. This is between just you and I…

I have near constant nightmares that my cat is in danger and needs help and I can’t help him. This has been going on forever.

(Also: Have you seen the footage of the pelican covered in oil? It means we’re all going to burn in hell.)

Here’s the thing people, and they won’t teach you this in school, the bravest thing you can ever do in life is take on the responsibility of caring about some other creature’s well being. I don’t care if it’s your dumb baby, your smooch partner or a goldfish, you’re putting yourself in the position of being hurt and torn apart. SPLICE may pretend it’s all about creating FRANKENSTEIN monsters that cannot be controlled but its real power comes from the HORROR of caring. As soon as POLLEY starts to care about the being she has created, she is screwed. There is no way things are going to work out well, she has very unscientifically opened her heart and her heart is doomed. The universe sees her heart as a dartboard.

There’s a bunch of stuff in this movie about playing God (somebody’s got to), gender identity and hipster apartment hunting but I really don’t care about that stuff. I really loved how SPLICE makes you care and then makes you pay for it. I’m not sure if that was its intention or if I just need a vacation but I was really impressed by how it rakes maternal/paternal feelings and then just shoots them down without ever being too obvious about it. (There’s also something here about POLLEY’s character trying to correct her own upbringing and finding what a dead end that is that I found interesting as well.) Oh yeah, and I almost forgot, this is a horror movie and the ending really does deliver some tense scares. As you can tell this isn’t so much a review as some random associations, if it was a review I’d give it a seriously high rating. On the surface it may seem like the standard mish-mash but there’s something very special and different here kicking and screeching and determined to break through. In other words if you’re like me and have spent the last year bitching about the government cheese that masquerades as cinema, go see SPLICE, it may cure your ills. As for me, I’m going to take a nap and inevitably dream of my poor cat covered in oil.

P.S. I think ADRIAN BRODY is in this movie too.

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Amanda By Night
11 years ago

Without seeing Splice, I am going to recommend Prototype to you. It’s a tv movie with Chris Plummer and David Morse that is a reworking of Frankenstein in a world of cyborgs. It’s one of those movies where you see the awesome DVD art and think it’s going to be some kind of Terminator rip-off and then you see these characters in such real ways… and then you get that ending and I cried and cried. Not even watching Car Wash afterwards could make my sadness disappear. In fact, just recommending the movie to you makes me want to cry a little. It’s that good and surprising.

Splice sounds tre interesting. Thanks for the review. I loved it (as usual!)…

Dylan Donnie-Duke
Dylan Donnie-Duke
11 years ago

I haven’t seen this yet, but your thoughts confirm a feeling I have had about it.  The recent ads have given away some of the motherly-love aspects of Ms. Polley’s character and it immediately evoked in me a sensation that this was a higher budget attempt at “It’s Alive.”  I won’t know until I see it whether or not that is a good thing.
Like you, I think that Sarah Polley can bring enough charm and grace to even the worst film to make it watchable.  (Something I like to call the Henrisksen Factor.)  So…. I look forward to it regardless of the end result for me.  Great review!

Lynette Fromme
Lynette Fromme
11 years ago

Just saw it, it was good (not great). Would have appreciated a little more Cronenbergian-goodness.  Also wish it explored the consequences of Polley’s upbringing a little more. But, I too love Sarah Polley and will watch any movie she is involved in.