About the Movie "Splice"

by Thomas West

The 2009 movie "Splice" is a science fiction/horror film that depicts the dangers of genetic engineering and the horrors that can occur whenever human beings try to control something that can not be controlled. "Splice" is both thought-provoking and terrifying, and it received a great deal of critical attention and approval. However, the movie was a bit of a disappointment at the box office.

Plot Summary

"Splice" revolves around two scientists, Clive Nicoli and Elsa Cast, who defy their superiors and splice together human and animal DNA. They name the resultant hybrid Dren, who grows more quickly than the scientists expected. Dren also shows a great deal of intelligence. To avoid being discovered, the scientists move the creature to Elsa's farm. They soon learn that the creature can change its sex, and it kills several people in rapid succession, including Clive. Although she is raped by the creature, Elsa manages to kill it, and the film ends with a silhouette of her body, pregnant with Dren's child.


This film starred Adrien Brody, who is well-known for his award-winning role in "The Pianist" and for the Wes Anderson film "The Darjeeling Limited." Sarah Polley, who portrayed Elsa, gained notoriety for her performance in the film "The Sweet Hereafter" and for a starring role in the HBO series "John Adams," in which she played Nabby Adams, John and Abigail's daughter. Delphine Chaneac, who portrayed the villainous creature Dren, has primarily starred in a number of European comedies, although she also had a role in "The Pink Panther," which starred Steve Martin.

Production Information

The director, Vincenzo Natali, is known for his directorial work on many films, including the sci-fi/horror film "Cube," and his art work on numerous others. Filming for "Splice" took place exclusively in Canada, mostly in Toronto and the surrounding area. It was produced by Copperheart Entertainment and released through Dark Castle Entertainment. "Splice" was a relatively inexpensive film to make, costing around $26 million.


The film grossed $17 million overall and failed to make enough to cover its budget costs. However, it was nominated for several awards, including the Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Horror/Thriller and the Saturn Award for Best Make-Up. Roger Ebert liked the film, arguing that both the movie and the actors were "smart" and stating that the film was well done and intriguing. Peter Travers, writing for "Rolling Stone," awarded the film three out of four stars and particularly praised the acting. He noted that both stars created complex characters that drew viewers in. Travers also called the genetic creature Dren a miracle of special effects, but he did think that the film devolved into cliché toward the end.