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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Splice is a monster movie that's not particularly bloody or gory but has many intense, shocking situations that have the potential to deeply disturb sensitive viewers. On top of this, the movie also involves some thorny sexual situations (between human and quasi-human) and lots of foul language, including multiple uses of "f--k" and "s--t." The movie raises several complex ethical and moral questions around the creation of life and the meaning of family that has the potential to intrigue and/or offend. Either way, it's a real conversation-starter.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
On the verge of losing control of their laboratory under a tangle of red tape, two rebellious scientists, the romantically-involved Elsa (Sarah Polley) and Clive (Adrien Brody) impulsively decide to experiment with crossing animal and human DNA. The result of their experiment matures frighteningly fast, eventually appearing as the weirdly pretty adult female creature known as "Dren" (Delphine Chanéac). Unfortunately, since Elsa and Clive have crossed many legal and ethical lines, they must keep Dren a secret. But their emotional involvement with the creature -- and with each other -- may prevent them from understanding what Dren really is: a potentially deadly monster.
Is it any good?
This movie is messed up! Directed and co-written by Vincenzo Natali, Splice moves through familiar territory, giving nods to Frankenstein, E.T., and Jurassic Park, but it touches on some seriously complex and twisted ideas, such as the meaning of family and the concept of creation. Nevertheless, it has a perfectly confident and nonchalant tone as it navigates these sticky issues; it's even ever so slightly comical. (Or perhaps the laughter is just a reaction to the movie's uncomfortable suggestions.)
The director balances everything pitch-perfectly, from the performances to the hair-raising sound effects, and all the way down to images of the creepy, snowy woods during the film's tense climax. It's a thoroughly satisfying movie for viewers looking for something with a bit more depth and wit than the average summer blockbuster. After the thrills have ended, brave viewers will find plenty of interesting themes and ideas to discuss, though more sensitive -- and younger -- viewers should approach with caution.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the way this movie dealt with the implications of creating a new life. What issues does it bring up? How is this movie different from or similar to other "creature features" like Frankenstein, etc.?
How does this movie compare to horror films filled with blood and gore? Was it more or less scary? How did the movie's violence make you feel? Was it disturbing? Were you frightened, or did it make you uncomfortable?
- In theaters: June 4, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: October 5, 2010
- Cast: Adrien Brody, Delphine Chanéac, Sarah Polley
- Director: Vincenzo Natali
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Run time: 104 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: disturbing elements including strong sexuality, nudity, sci-fi violence and language