Not to diminish the role of director Vincenzo Natali (though “presenter” Guillermo Del Toro has already done so by prominently splashing his name all over the posters), but the surprise sci fi critical darling Splice is classic Cronenberg through and through (just to clarify: anything pre eXistenZ qualifies as classic) – and it’s not just the very Canadianness of it all (Sarah Polley, possibly the most Canadian actress of all time, stars), nor is it just the crazy-gross flesh-slugs and scalpel surgeries that remind me of the prime of the horror giant (whose films include The Brood, Rabid, and the truly incredible and mind bending Videodrome).
There’s a certain dignity to the movie making that is woefully absent in most like minded thrillers of late that do little more than make you squirm through some gross-out stuff. Unlike such movies that parade half naked actors and actresses who are barely fit for terrible CW teen dramas, everyone here does phenomenally with some pretty tough material.
And while I’m still not completely sure how I feel about Splice, it certainly requires a bit of thought and evokes some very, very disturbing ideas not only about scientific morality, but really creepy concepts of parenthood and human desires and motivations. For the record, it’s super creepy to watch while pregnant.
It’s in theaters now and definitely a more interesting way to spend a couple hours out of the heat than in front of Shrek Forever After, Killers (shockingly not based on the Hemingway short story), or Marmaduke.